UK has no right to meddle in HKSAR's affairs: Envoy

Updated: 2019-06-14 07:59

By Li Bingcun in Hong Kong(HK Edition)

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The United Kingdom has no right to interfere in the internal affairs of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China's top envoy to the UK has stressed.

The response came after British Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday expressed concern over the SAR government's proposed amendments to the city's extradition laws, saying such a move must be in line with the Sino-British Joint Declaration.

In a televised interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation aired on Wednesday, Liu Xiao-ming, Chinese ambassador to the UK since 2009, said the declaration does not grant the British government the sovereignty, right or legitimacy to meddle in the HKSAR's internal affairs.

UK has no right to meddle in HKSAR's affairs: Envoy

The declaration was signed in 1984 between China and the UK to ensure a smooth transition ahead of the nation resuming sovereignty over Hong Kong in 1997.

Liu said the declaration had completed its mission following the handover, and "one country, two systems" has been successfully implemented in the SAR since.

The ambassador also dismissed claims that the central government is behind the plan to change the SAR's extradition laws.

He described such reports by some foreign media organizations, including the BBC, as "distorted", saying the amendments were initiated by the SAR government to plug loopholes in Hong Kong's legal system.

The amendments, he explained, are backed by mainstream public opinion in the SAR, as manifested in an online campaign supporting the bill which had received more than 800,000 signatures, but some internal and external forces are trying to take advantage of the proposed revisions to create trouble.

Liu cited Wednesday's violent clashes between police and protesters outside the Legislative Council, in which more than 100 people, including police officers, were injured and major public transportation services were severely disrupted.

In a televised address on Wednesday evening, HKSAR Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor called the protest a "blatant, organized riot".

The SAR government proposed revising the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance to enable the city to surrender fugitive offenders to jurisdictions with which it has no long-term extradition agreements.

Hong Kong has rendition agreements with 20 jurisdictions and mutual legal assistance arrangements with 32 others, excluding the Chinese mainland, Macao and Taiwan.

(HK Edition 06/14/2019 page5)