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Chinese Embassy in the UK strongly condemns Five Eyes statement | Updated: 2020-11-20 10:20
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The Chinese Embassy in the UK Strongly Condemns the Hong Kong-related Joint Statement of the Foreign Ministers and Secretary of State of the "Five Eyes" Alliance

Question: The foreign ministers of the UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand and the US Secretary of State have issued a joint statement urging "the Chinese central authorities to reconsider their actions against Hong Kong's elective legislature and immediately reinstate the Legislative Council members." What is the comment of the Chinese Embassy in the UK?

Embassy Spokesperson: The Chinese side firmly opposes and strongly condemns this joint statement on Hong Kong, which made unwarranted accusations against the decision of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) on the qualification of the members of the Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), recklessly discredited the policy of the Chinese Government on Hong Kong, and openly meddled in Hong Kong affairs and interfered in China's internal affairs.

The question of the qualification of the Legislative Council members of the Hong Kong SAR concerns the understanding and implementation of the relevant decision of the NPC Standing Committee, Article 104 of the Basic Law and its interpretation, and the National Security Law for the Hong Kong SAR, which are outside the terms of reference of the Hong Kong SAR Government. It is reasonable, legitimate and in line with the Constitution of China that the NPC Standing Committee, as the highest organ of state power in China, should rule on this constitutional issue from the level of the Central Government. This decision brooks no slandering or discrediting.

It is a basic political ethics in any country that holders of public office, legislators in particular, shall uphold constitutional laws and pledge allegiance to the country. It is a universal practice to require an oath of allegiance, set out the qualifications for legislators and ensure their national identity and political loyalty in the form of legislation. Here in the UK, the law clearly stipulates that members of the House of Lords and House of Commons shall take an oath to swear allegiance to the Crown before taking their seats. Nowhere in the world will legislators ever be allowed to collude with foreign forces in attempts of subversion and secession. China is no exception.

The decision of the NPC Standing Committee is required inherently by the need to uphold and improve the institutional system of "One Country, Two Systems" and implement the relevant laws and regulations, including the Basic Law and the National Security Law for the Hong Kong SAR. It is a legitimate action which will safeguard rule of law and constitutional order in the Hong Kong SAR. This decision will protect, rather than erode, the high degree of autonomy of the SAR under the premise of "One Country" and with patriotic Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong. Instead of undermining the rights or freedoms of Hong Kong residents, this decision will only hold in check the anti-China elements who are aimed at destabilizing Hong Kong and who have undermined democracy under the pretext of advocating it and smothered others' freedoms by abusing the freedom of speech. It will provide better safeguards for the lawful rights and interests and wellbeing of the majority of Hong Kong residents. The truth is, no one is more earnest and determined than the Chinese Government in implementing "One Country, Two Systems" fully and accurately; no one cares more about the prosperity and stability in Hong Kong and the rights and freedoms of Hong Kong residents than the Chinese Government. Since the handover, Hong Kong's international has seen its rankings in freedoms, the judicial system and the rule of law surging, and Hong Kong residents are enjoying unprecedented rights and freedoms under the law. Such achievements are fully recognized by the international community.

It is completely wrong for a few countries, including the UK, to take the Sino-British Joint Declaration as an excuse time and again to accuse China of "not fulfilling its international obligations". China was the first country to put its signature on the UN Charter. It has joined almost all the inter-governmental organizations, has signed more than 500 international conventions and has been fulfilling its due international obligations. China firmly rejects the accusation of failing to fulfill its international obligations! By using Hong Kong-related issues to interfere in China's internal affairs, it is these few countries who are trampling on the basic norms governing international relations, who have breached bilateral and multilateral agreements, and who deserve the strong condemnation of the international community. The core content of the Joint Declaration is China's resumption of the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong. The Joint Declaration has 1,137 words, eight articles and three annexes. Not a single word or article gives the UK any responsibility over Hong Kong after the handover. The UK has no sovereignty, jurisdiction or right of "supervision" over Hong Kong after the handover. No foreign country has the right to use the Joint Declaration as an excuse to interfere in Hong Kong affairs, which are China's internal affairs!

China urges these few countries, including the UK, to abandon their cold war mentality and double standards, stop colluding on anti-China agenda, and stop interfering Hong Kong affairs, which are China's internal affairs. China remains unwavering in its determination to maintain sustained prosperity and stability in Hong Kong and to safeguard its national sovereignty, security and development interests. Any attempt to harm China's sovereignty, security or development interests is doomed to failure!

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