The government on Friday expressed strong disapproval of allegations the United Kingdom made about the SAR administration in its latest six-monthly report on Hong Kong.
The report, covering the second half of 2022, alleged that: “Hong Kong’s freedoms have been curtailed, critical voices silenced and the space for free press and assembly reduced.”
In response, the Hong Kong government said in a statement that the descriptions were “slandering remarks and ill-intentioned political attacks”.
“The HKSAR Government urges again the United Kingdom to respect the international law and basic norms governing international relations and stop interfering in the affairs of the HKSAR,” it said.
The statement called the UK’s criticism of the revamped electoral system misleading, noting that it “puts in place legal safeguards to ensure full implementation of ‘patriots administering Hong Kong’”.
“No one in any country or region in the world will ever allow political power to fall into the hands of forces or individuals who do not love, or even sell out or betray, their own country,” it added.
The statement also pointed out that the UK itself has many laws on national security, and that it is the right of every country to safeguard its national security.
It reiterated that all law enforcement actions are based on evidence, and that the enactment of the national security law had swiftly and effectively restored stability and security in the SAR following the social unrest in 2019 and early 2020.
On the UK's criticism of media freedom in the SAR, the government added: "Since the implementation of the NSL, the media landscape in Hong Kong has been as vibrant as ever.
"As always, the media can exercise their right to monitor the HKSAR Government's work.
"Their freedom of commenting on and criticising government policies, which take place as a matter of routine, remains uninhibited as long as they are not in violation of the law."