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HK pro-establishment legislators regret approval of bill by US House

Updated: 2019-10-16 16:26
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Pro-establishment Members of the Hong Kong Legislative Council Express Deep Regret at the Passage of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act 2019 and other legislation and resolution in the US House of Representatives

16 October, 2019

We wish to express our deep regret at the passage of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act 2019 (H.R. 3289), the Protect Hong Kong Act (H.R. 4270), as well as the "Stand with Hong Kong Resolution" (H. Res. 543), in the House of Representatives of the US Congress on 15 October, 2019. We strongly object to the House of Representatives' attempt to grossly interfere in the domestic affairs of Hong Kong and to promote the political interests of their proxies in Hong Kong.

We note that in examining the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act 2019, the Congressional committees with oversight responsibility held hearings to listen to biased and one-sided testimonies from a handful of individuals not representative of the people of Hong Kong at large, and did not undertake a comprehensive investigation into the actual situation in Hong Kong. We consider such an approach to be bigoted and unjust. The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act 2019, which was approved by the House of Representatives in such biased and unfair conditions, would only result in a lose-lose outcome for all parties concerned. Hong Kong has all along enjoyed a close and mutually beneficial trade and economic relationship with the US. The US has enjoyed a substantial trade surplus of US$34 b. with Hong Kong in 2018, its largest bilateral trade surplus with any trading partner. US businesses have also enjoyed significant benefits by using Hong Kong's excellent business conditions as a launching pad for access to mainland China's market. Hong Kong and the US have also enjoyed longstanding co-operation in other areas – in mutual legal assistance in civil and criminal matters, counter-terrorism, anti-money laundering, and in the fight against cross-border drug trafficking and human smuggling, among others. The House of Representatives' passage of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act 2019, as well as the Protect Hong Kong Act and the "Stand with Hong Kong Resolution", will not only damage Hong Kong's business environment, but also Sino-American relationship. US interests are bound to be adversely affected as the result.

Since Hong Kong's Reunification, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government has adhered strictly to the "One Country, Two Systems" policy and the provisions of the Basic Law to ensure that the rights and freedoms of Hong Kong people are fully protected. Hong Kong enjoys high standing in the Freedom Index and Rule of Law Index compiled by reputable bodies. In conducting business, social, cultural and other collaborations with other countries and territories, Hong Kong has always adhered strictly to international, multilateral and bilateral agreements, well-established international norms and codes of ethics. Hong Kong will continue to move forward on the basis of its foundations of success as described above.

The protests in the past four months have already caused substantial damage to Hong Kong. A small number of radical extremists have, under the false pretense of promoting democracy and freedom, seriously damaged public order, and have caused significant threats to the personal safety, the lawful rights and interests of other Hong Kong residents. They have wrought great damage to the implementation of "One Country, Two Systems" and the rule of law in Hong Kong. We are firmly of the view that such destructive behavior will not be permitted in any civilized society. We support the work of the Hong Kong Police Force to uphold law and order. We urge the Police to stop violence and bring law-breakers to justice, so that law and order can be restored as soon as possible. We also urge that the politicians of other countries to refrain from judging Hong Kong with double standards, but should appraise Hong Kong's situation in an objective and fair-minded manner in the light of the actual conditions. They should not provide any form of support to those who break the law.

Finally, we note that the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act 2019 has erroneously referred to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region as "Hong Kong Special Autonomous Region". Such a careless mistake fully betrays the House of Representatives' lack of understanding of Hong Kong's constitutional status and its cavalier approach toward Hong Kong issues.

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