The central government on Wednesday voiced its firm opposition to “irresponsible and erroneous” comments from the US side on Hong Kong’s amendments of the extradition laws, urging foreign countries not to interfere in the special administrative region’s internal affairs.
Spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Geng Shuang made the remarks at a press briefing after being asked about the United States’ “concerns” over the proposed amendments, amid claims that these could jeopardize the special status of Hong Kong.
He noted that the SAR government has been gathering opinions on the amendments from all sectors in the city and had modified the draft twice in response to people’s views and suggestions.
Geng invited the US to view the amendments in a fair and just manner and to exercise caution in its words and deeds
Geng invited the US to view the amendments in a fair and just manner and to exercise caution in its words and deeds.
He also said the central government would continue to support the SAR government in advancing the amendments.
His comments came in response to Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the United States House of Representatives, who claimed on Wednesday the US Congress will reassess whether Hong Kong is “sufficiently autonomous” if the extradition bill is passed.
Thousands of masked protesters occupied major roads outside the government headquarters and the Legislative Council Complex in Admiralty, Hong Kong Island, opposing the government’s extradition bill.
The protest later morphed into a riot, as radical protesters repeatedly charged police cordon lines, performed dangerous acts such as setting fires, using sharpened iron poles and bricks to attack police officers.
Geng said that any actions that undermine Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability were opposed by the mainstream public opinion in the city.
The city’s local political organizations also expressed disapproval of US interference.
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The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB), the largest political party in the city’s legislature, expressed regret over remarks by US officials, adding that these allegations have aroused strong opposition from Hong Kong people.
The comments from the US side had ignored the facts, the DAB stressed in a statement. It demanded that the US authorities immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs in any form.
The extradition bill, the DAB argued, serves the same purpose as those of the formal extradition agreements between the US and Hong Kong, namely to jointly fight crime and uphold the rule of law.
Echoing the DAB, the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions (FTU), the city’s largest labor group, strongly condemned the US interference in the Hong Kong internal affairs.
The FTU noted that the declaration from the US Department of State had seriously twisted the facts and strongly condemned its misrepresentation.
The proposed amendments to the city’s extradition laws have strictly adhered to the “one country, two systems” principle, as it was proposed by the SAR government and scrutinized by LegCo.
The FTU will continue supporting the SAR government as the proposed amendment bill is a reasonable and necessary remedy to legal loopholes in Hong Kong’s judiciary, it said in the statement.
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