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Spokesperson of Chinese Mission to the EU Speaks on a Question Concerning EU's Declaration on the National Security Law in Hong Kong

Q: On behalf of the European Union, the EU High Representative issued a declaration on the adoption of the National Security Law in Hong Kong, which said that the law was adopted without meaningful prior consultation, and that the law risks seriously undermining Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy and having a detrimental effect on the independence of judiciary and rule of law. The EU urges China to ensure that the freedoms and rights of Hong Kong residents are fully protected. What's your comment?

A: Yesterday, I stated China's position on the EU leaders' remarks concerning Hong Kong. Today, I would like to emphasize the following three points:

Firstly, "one country, two systems" is China's national policy. No one cherishes "one country, two systems" more than we do, and no one wants it to go on a steady and sustained course more than we do. The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) of China formulated the Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, which was promulgated and implemented locally by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region with the aim of plugging loopholes in Hong Kong's national security, correcting Hong Kong's deviation from "one country, two systems" and stopping the chaos of challenging the bottom line of "one country, two systems". Its purpose, at the end of the day, is to uphold and improve "one country, two systems", not to change "one country, two systems." Since the EU has stated that it has a strong stake in the continued stability and prosperity of Hong Kong under the principle of "one country, two systems", it should support the Chinese measures.

Secondly, in the process of drafting the law, the NPC Standing Committee has paid attention to the opinions of various parties, especially those of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, including the Chief Executive and other officials, President of the Legislative Council, NPC delegates of Hong Kong and members of the CPPCC at various levels, representatives of social organizations and regional groups, as well as representatives from such fields as legal affairs, industry, commerce, finance, education, science, technology, culture, religion, youth and labor. The relevant departments of the NPC Standing Committee and others have held 12 symposiums in Hong Kong recently. In Hong Kong, nearly 3 million citizens signed up to support the legislation, and 1.5 million people have signed the online petition against foreign meddling in Hong Kong affairs, which fully reflects the shared aspirations of the general public. It is therefore totally untenable for the EU to say that the relevant legislation lacks meaningful consultation.

Thirdly, Hong Kong's National Security Law clearly states in Article 4 of the "General Provisions" in Chapter 1 that the rights and freedoms, including the freedoms of speech, of the press, of publication, of association, of assembly, of procession and of demonstration, which the residents of the Region enjoy under the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights as applied to Hong Kong, shall be protected in accordance with the law. This fully reflects that the relevant legislation puts respect for and protection of human rights in a prominent position. It is advisable for the EU side to take a closer look at the relevant legal provisions.

Finally, I would like to reiterate that Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China, and Hong Kong affairs are China's internal affairs. The EU side should earnestly abide by international law and the basic norms governing international relations, immediately stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs, and stop interfering in China's internal affairs.

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