Govt slams US report as 'blatant interference' - RTHK
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Govt slams US report as 'blatant interference'

2020-12-02 HKT 08:34
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  • The government said violent protests in 2019 upset the rule of law and public safety. File photo: Reuters
    The government said violent protests in 2019 upset the rule of law and public safety. File photo: Reuters
The government on Wednesday rejected a US bipartisan report which has recommended making it easier for Hong Kongers who fear political persecution to apply for visas for the US, calling it "blatant interference".

The US report suggested granting political asylum to people born after the handover who were only eligible for a Hong Kong passport. And it said trade authorities should report within 90 days whether there's a risk of mainland China using Hong Kong to evade trade remedies.

However, the SAR government opposed what it called sweeping attacks and unfounded accusations, saying it was hypocritical for the US to introduce measures to attack China by using human rights and democracy to create issues in Hong Kong.

It also warned the United States to "respect the basic norms governing international relations and stop interfering in the affairs of the HKSAR".

The US commission said that with the global spread of the coronavirus, mainland leaders had seized an opportunity to silence opposition and establish control over civil society while the pandemic prevented Hong Kong residents from continuing demonstrations, and distracted the international community. It said the national security law came after years of the Chinese Communist Party's encroachment into the territory’s affairs.

The commission also said that in passing the law, Beijing had showed its willingness to sacrifice economic interests, the rule of law, and basic human rights. It said the national security law fundamentally transformed Hong Kong’s relationship with the United States and other democracies, as well as the international perception of China as a global actor.

It also accused the SAR government of postponing legislative council elections and banning dozens of pro-democracy candidates because it was facing a likely pro-democracy victory.

In response, the SAR government said the decision to postpone the elections by one year was made after assessing public health risks from having voters turn out during the pandemic. It also accused the United States of double standards and said enacting national security laws in Hong Kong was in line with international practice.

It also said that Hong Kong had been racked by violent protests in 2019, with rioters burning and vandalising properties, attacking people, and the media was "loaded with fake and misleading information smearing the Hong Kong Police".

It condemned overseas politicians for turning a blind eye to this violence, which it said was seriously jeopardising the nation's sovereignty, security and development interests.

The SAR government also rejected as "totally untrue and biased" accusations that the National Security Law did not heed the rights and freedoms of Hong Kong people or undermined the SAR's high degree of autonomy.

"Since the implementation of the National Security Law, stability has been restored to society," it said. "Our people can continue to enjoy their basic rights and freedoms in accordance with the law."