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Spokesperson of Chinese Mission to the EU Speaks on a Question Concerning EU's Accusations of Arrests by Hong Kong Police of People on Suspicion of Subversion

Q: On January 7, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy issued a declaration, stating that more than 50 people were arrested by Hong Kong police on charges related to the holding in July 2020 of “pro-democracy primary elections”. The EU urges the authorities to respect Hong Kong’s rule of law and democratic principles and calls for the immediate release of those arrested. What is your comment?

A: The recent arrests by Hong Kong police of activists suspected of subversion are legal actions based on the Basic Law of the Hong Kong SAR and the Hong Kong National Security Law. These are China’s internal affairs in which the EU side has no right to interfere.

Regarding the EU’s declaration, I wish to point out that the EU side deliberately used words like "democracy", "rule of law" and "primary elections" to mislead the public. Election is an important manifestation of citizens' exercise of political and democratic rights, and must be conducted in accordance with law and due procedures. Under Hong Kong’s electoral system, there is no such thing as “primary election”. The so-called "primary elections" plotted and executed by the persons concerned in July 2020 were illegal, seriously disrupting and undermining the Hong Kong electoral system and its fairness and justice. The real purpose was to seize control of the Hong Kong Legislative Council and paralyze the SAR government. Such moves posed brazen challenges to the Hong Kong Basic Law and the Hong Kong National Security Law. In any country, those who violate the law must be held accountable. They cannot be exonerated simply because they were once lawmakers or activists. This is precisely what democracy and the rule of law are about.

The EU side stated in the declaration that the "one country, two systems" principle and Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy must be respected. It had better start by respecting China's judicial sovereignty, and stopping interference in Hong Kong affairs, or in the lawful exercise of duties by the Hong Kong police.

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