Commissioner's office of Chinese foreign ministry in HKSAR urges U.S. side to stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs on pretext of press freedom

(Xinhua) 13:42, June 26, 2021

HONG KONG, June 25 (Xinhua) -- The Office of the Commissioner of the Chinese Foreign Ministry in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Friday urged the United States to stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs on the pretext of press freedom.

The spokesperson of the office made the remarks in response to media inquiries about a statement concerning Apple Daily released by the White House website.

The statement groundlessly accused the central government and the HKSAR government of suppressing "media freedom," attacked the national security law in the HKSAR, and smeared the successful practice of "one country, two systems" in Hong Kong in disregard of international law and basic norms governing international relations, the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson deeply regretted the shocking allegations and expressed strong disapproval and firm opposition.

It was not until Hong Kong's return to the motherland that Hong Kong residents started enjoying true democratic rights and freedoms, the spokesperson said.

The national security law in the HKSAR enshrines principles of rule of law including safeguarding human rights, addresses the most pressing and prominent risks facing national security in Hong Kong, and targets a small handful of criminals committing activities endangering national security, the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said Hong Kong people's extensive rights and freedoms have been better guaranteed under the law in a safe, stable and law-based environment.

Hong Kong is governed by the rule of law, where the law shall be strictly abided by and any lawbreaker shall be held accountable, the spokesperson said, noting that the key problem in Hong Kong is whether national security shall be defended, whether law and order shall be upheld and whether crimes shall be punished in accordance with the law, which has nothing to do with media freedom.

The spokesperson said Hong Kong residents are clear-eyed about the nature of Apple Daily, a rumor mill inciting unrest in Hong Kong and China as a whole.

The U.S. side also knows that very well and press freedom should not be exploited as an excuse for criminal activities, still less a fig leaf for acts to destabilize Hong Kong and China at large, the spokesperson said.

If anyone claims it is a repression of "media freedom" just because the party involved in the case is a certain news agency and the suspects its executives, they are either pretending to be unaware of the truth or deliberately confounding right with wrong out of ulterior motives, the spokesperson said.

While paying lip service to press freedom, the United States itself has a poor record in this regard; it has frequently denied journalists access to open government events, shut down news websites and flagrantly targeted media agencies of other countries, the spokesperson said.

Citing "media freedom" against others only exposed its own hypocrisy, double standards and hegemonic mindset, the spokesperson said.

It is China that has initiated, led, practiced and maintained "one country, two systems" and no one understands its value better than China, or stays more committed to the original aspiration of the policy, or cares more about the well-being of Hong Kong compatriots, the spokesperson said.

Hong Kong is part of China, and its affairs are China's internal affairs, which no other country, organization or individual shall meddle with, the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson urged the U.S. side to respect the fact and the rule of law, stop distorting "one country, two systems", stop vilifying the central government's Hong Kong policy, stop assaulting the HKSAR's rule of law, and stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China's internal affairs as a whole on the pretext of press freedom. 

(Web editor: Wu Chaolan, Bianji)


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