US Consul General's comments 'unfair and untrue' - RTHK
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US Consul General's comments 'unfair and untrue'

2022-07-12 HKT 09:45
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  • A Government spokesperson said US Consul General Hanscom Smith's criticism of the national security law and electoral reform in Hong Kong couldn't be further from the truth. File photo: RTHK
    A Government spokesperson said US Consul General Hanscom Smith's criticism of the national security law and electoral reform in Hong Kong couldn't be further from the truth. File photo: RTHK
The government on Tuesday hit back at criticism from the outgoing US Consul General to Hong Kong, saying Hanscom Smith's remarks were unfair and untrue.

Smith had in a farewell speech at the American Chamber of Commerce on Monday said the authorities' 'crude' use of the national security law threatens Hong Kong's role as an international business hub while recent electoral reforms undermine its future.

In response, a government spokesman said democracy in the SAR has taken "a quantum leap forward" since 1997, and the electoral system has been improved to make the Legislative Council and Election Committee more representative. It was only natural, it added, to keep political power in the hands of patriots.

The spokesman also rejected the criticism that Hong Kong people's freedoms had been eroded by the security law, saying that the legislation clearly states that human rights would be respected and protected in safeguarding national security in Hong Kong.

The spokesman said Hong Kong people's rights and freedoms under the Basic Law and the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights - including freedom of assembly, procession and demonstration - are protected under the law.

He said any law enforcement actions by Hong Kong law enforcement agencies were based on evidence, and carried out strictly according to the law.