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UK urged to refrain from meddling in HK affairs

By ZHOU JIN | China Daily Global | Updated: 2024-03-01 09:27
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A flag-raising ceremony is held by the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the motherland, at the Golden Bauhinia Square in Hong Kong, July 1, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

China slammed the United Kingdom's groundless attacks on Thursday regarding Hong Kong legislation aimed at tackling national security crimes, urging London to stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning made the remarks after British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said in a statement on Wednesday that the legislation — Article 23 of the Basic Law of Hong Kong — breaches its international obligations in the Sino-British Joint Declaration, and would inhibit freedom of expression and threaten legitimate diplomatic activities in Hong Kong.

The HKSAR government conducted a public consultation on the Article 23 legislation from Jan 30 to Feb 28.

Beijing opposes the UK move that violently interfered in China's internal affairs, which again exposed the deeply entrenched colonial mindset and "judging" mentality of London, Mao told a daily news briefing.

Calling the UK's concerns "totally unfounded", the spokeswoman said London is by no means qualified or entitled by the Sino-British Joint Declaration to interfere in Hong Kong-related matters.

Mao explained that one of the principles of the legislation is to respect and protect human rights, as well as to protect the rights and freedoms enjoyed by Hong Kong residents in accordance with the Hong Kong Basic Law and relevant international conventions.

The normal activities of foreign institutions and personnel in the region will be protected in accordance with the law, she stressed, adding that it clearly distinguishes between acts that constitute crimes endangering national security and normal trade, cultural, scientific and technological activities.

Mao also criticized the UK's National Security Act that came into force last year, saying it has many vague provisions and a sweeping authorization for law enforcement agencies, which can be easily abused.

"We urge the UK to abandon its double standards, reflect on itself, and squarely face the fact that Hong Kong has already returned to China and stop meddling in the region's affairs," she said.

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