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June 2, 2020

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Countermeasures promised if HK privileges withdrawn

CHINA said yesterday US attempts to harm Chinese interests will be met with firm countermeasures, criticizing a US decision to begin ending special treatment for Hong Kong as well as actions against Chinese students and companies.

China’s top legislature last week voted to move forward with imposing national security legislation on Hong Kong, which US President Donald Trump said on Friday violated China’s promise to protect its autonomy.

Trump ordered his administration to begin the process of eliminating special US treatment for Hong Kong to punish China, ranging from extradition treatment to export controls.

But he stopped short of calling an immediate end to the privileges.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said China firmly opposed the US steps. “The announced measures severely interfere with China’s internal affairs, damage US-China relations, and will harm both sides. China is firmly opposed to this,” he said.

“Any words or actions by the US that harm China’s interests will meet with China’s firm counterattack,” he said.

Other Chinese officials echoed Zhao’s remark. The Office of the Commissioner of the Chinese Foreign Ministry in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region yesterday slammed the United States for smearing “one country, two systems” and Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy, and stressed that the US threat or sanction will not intimidate the Chinese people including Hong Kong compatriots.

The national security legislation for Hong Kong is just and legitimate, and falls within China’s internal affairs and exercise of sovereignty. It is to plug the loopholes in national security legislation in Hong Kong, better implement “one country, two systems,” and maintain Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability in the long run, a spokesperson of the commissioner’s office said.

The US obstruction of the legislation is an interference in Hong Kong affairs, which are China’s internal affairs, and a violation of principles of international law and basic norms governing international relations, the spokesperson pointed out.

“Chinese people, Hong Kong compatriots included, are firmly against it, and the rest of the international community will see more clearly the double standards and ulterior motives behind the US attempt,” the spokesperson added.

“Any threat or sanction from the United States will not intimidate the Chinese people, including our Hong Kong compatriots. Nor will it hold back China’s national rejuvenation,” the spokesperson said.

A spokesperson for the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region yesterday also voiced resolute opposition to the US interference in Hong Kong affairs and urged the US side to correct the wrongdoing.

Stressing Hong Kong’s important role in the international economic landscape as a global financial, trading and shipping center, the spokesperson said Hong Kong’s status as a separate customs territory is recognized by the World Trade Organization.

The status is not given by any specific country, nor will it be changed by the unilateral action of any one country, said the spokesperson. The threat of so-called sanctions over national security legislation for Hong Kong has demonstrated that the United States sees Hong Kong as a pawn to contain China’s development.


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