China to take countermeasures if U.S. imposes visa restrictions on Hong Kong officials: spokesperson

2024-04-02 08:49:13Global Times Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

China deplores and opposes the so-called 2024 Hong Kong Policy Act Report issued by the U.S. Department of State, and has made strong démarches with the U.S. side, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Monday, who also noted that if the U.S. imposes visa restrictions on officials of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China will resolutely launch countermeasure.

The U.S. has once again issued a so-called report, attacking and smearing the National Security Law (NSL) for Hong Kong, the electoral system of the HKSAR, and the Safeguarding National Security Ordinance. The U.S. discredited Hong Kong's democracy, rule of law, human rights and exercise of freedoms and announced that it is taking steps to impose new visa restrictions on Hong Kong officials which is simply unjustified. None of the accusations are based on truth. The report and the statement constitute serious interference in Hong Kong affairs and China's domestic affairs, and a grave violation of the principles of international law and the basic norms governing international relations. China deplores and opposes this, and has made strong démarches to the U.S., the spokesperson said.

The U.S. State Department released its 2024 Hong Kong Policy Act Report on Friday and announced that it is taking steps to impose new visa restrictions on multiple Hong Kong officials over the "crackdown on rights and freedoms," toward which the HKSAR government, local officials and experts in Hong Kong voiced the strong opposition.

The spokesperson also emphasized that Hong Kong is China's Hong Kong, and Hong Kong affairs are purely China's internal affairs. The Chinese government has unwavering resolve in safeguarding its national sovereignty, security and development interests, in implementing One Country, Two Systems and in opposing any external interference in Hong Kong's affairs.

We urge the U.S. to abide by the principles of international law and the basic norms governing international relations and accurately understand One Country, Two Systems in its entirety. The U.S. needs to respect China's sovereignty and the rule of law in the HKSAR, and stop interfering in Hong Kong's affairs by any means, Wang said.

"If the U.S. does impose visa restrictions on officials of the HKSAR, China will take firm countermeasures," he said.

Since the return of Hong Kong, the central government has fully, faithfully and firmly implemented the principles of One Country, Two Systems, Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong and a high degree of autonomy, said Wang.

The constitutional order in Hong Kong based on China's Constitution and the Basic Law of the HKSAR has been stable and functioned well, the spokesperson said.

The central government has exercised overall jurisdiction over Hong Kong. The high degree of autonomy has been practiced as it should.

The formulation and implementation of the NSL for Hong Kong and the ordinance, along with the amendments and improvements to Hong Kong's electoral system, have built a solid defense to safeguard national security, which ensures that the principle of "patriots administering Hong Kong" is implemented.

It also effectively guarantees the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong, and genuinely upholds the various rights and freedoms legally entitled to Hong Kong residents. Hong Kong has achieved a significant transition from chaos to governance and from governance to prosperity. The cause of One Country, Two Systems will continue in the correct direction with stability and longevity, the spokesperson added.

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