The SAR government said on Friday that it "deplored" what it described as "incorrect and inappropriate" comments made by the US Consulate regarding the SAR's new national security law, and once again accused Washington of practising double standards and interfering in China's internal affairs.
The consulate had issued a statement saying the US is deeply concerned about the law having a "chilling effect" on civil society, the media and the public's ability to exercise the freedoms of speech, expression, and assembly.
"The National Security Law seeks to create an atmosphere of fear and self-censorship," it said.
In response, the SAR government said the US has at least 20 such laws safeguarding national security and sovereignty.
"The US's inappropriate comments on the National Security Law smacks of political manipulation and double standards. It is a gross interference in China's internal affairs and a grave violation of basic norms governing international relations. The HKSAR government strongly opposes the comments," a statement said.
"The National Security Law does not affect the legitimate rights of Hong Kong residents to exercise freedom of speech, including criticising government policies or policies and decisions made by officials. Neither will freedom of information, academic freedom, policy studies, personal data privacy and general business activities be compromised."
The statement added that the law also regulates the "use of Hong Kong by foreign countries or external elements to carry out activities of secession, subversion, infiltration and sabotage", and while the general public would not breach the legislation inadvertently, the authorities will "seriously handle" any collusion with a foreign country.
Govt 'deplores' US Consulate remarks on new law
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