The American Consulate in Hong Kong said on Friday that it’s ludicrous to accuse those meeting them of “collusion” with external forces after the mainland media raised the issue over reported talks held by a pro-democracy figure.
The Global Times ran a story suggesting a recent meeting between US Consul General Hanscom Smith and a pro-democracy politician could violate the new national security law enacted by Beijing in July.
In a statement, the consulate said it meets everyone – including pro-government figures – and these are needed for better understanding with each other.
"These meetings are neither secretive nor mysterious," the consulate said.
The consulate said the allegations “underscore the fact that the new law is not about security, but to silence democracy advocates and threaten people engaging in free speech”.
The statement also said the law seeks to create an atmosphere of self-censorship and fear.
"It would be an enormous tragedy if it crushed the very openness, diversity, and vitality that are at the heart of what makes Hong Kong so unique,” it said.
The new security law targets subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces.
Central and Hong Kong government officials say the law is needed to bring back stability in Hong Kong which has been rocked by protests since last year. (Additional reporting by AFP)
Collusion claims ludicrous, says US consulate
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