Published: 18:11, April 3, 2024 | Updated: 12:58, April 8, 2024
Sanctions against Hong Kong’s security law will prove futile
By Dominic Lee

In the wake of the enactment of the Safeguarding National Security Ordinance, a mandate of Hong Kong’s Basic Law Article 23, a tide of accusation and slander has swelled from foreign anti-China forces.

The US State Department and Secretary of State Antony Blinken exacerbated this with their March 29 release of the “2024 Hong Kong Policy Act Report” and accompanying statements — a document that paints an inaccurate and disparaging picture of Hong Kong’s situation. Moreover, their threats to impose visa sanctions on officials involved with the national security legislation reveal an arrogance and aggressiveness inherent in US policy. Such sanctions are doomed to be ineffective, and will only serve to unmask the unsavory face of American interventionism to the world. 
Upholding national security is crucial in the implementation of the “one country, two systems” principle. Crafting laws to safeguard national security is not only an inalienable constitutional responsibility of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region but also an inevitable requirement for its development, aligning with international norms. Nevertheless, US politicians have repeatedly maligned the legislation, wrongly accusing it as oppressive. They have gone so far as to claim, as Secretary Blinken has, that the law will “broadly affect Hong Kong citizens and American companies and nationals doing business there” and will “further erode the rights and freedoms of Hong Kong citizens”. 
It is important to note that these political attacks are baseless. This new security law does not infringe on the legitimate rights and freedoms of Hong Kong residents, nor does it affect the lawful interests of foreign investors in the region. Instead, it provides Hong Kong with a more robust legal framework. The unanimous passage of the law demonstrates its support not only for national security and freedom but also for development and public appeal. The persistent denigration by the US of the security law is a clear attempt to incite unrest and create panic. 
In the years following the implementation of the National Security Law for Hong Kong (NSL) in 2020, the US has relentlessly pursued sanctions against the region, escalating in intensity and scope. The truth is that US politicians’ criticism of Hong Kong and its laws are mere pretexts. Their real discontent lies in the law’s potential to increase the difficulty for the US to conduct espionage activities in Hong Kong and to cultivate political proxies. Thus, the US contemplates sanctions against HKSAR officials as a retaliatory measure. However, China has never succumbed to pressure; the hegemonic and intrusive tactics of the US are bound to fail. 
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin has pointed out that the US’ reissue of the so-called report, which denigrates the NSL, the HKSAR’s electoral system, and the national security legislation, while attacking Hong Kong’s democracy, rule of law, human rights, and freedoms, constitutes severe interference in Hong Kong affairs and China’s internal policies. It violates the principles of international law and the basic norms of international relations. Should the US impose visa restrictions on HKSAR officials, China will respond resolutely. 
With the strong backing of the nation, Hong Kong will not be cowed by American threats or intimidation. The US’ visa sanctions will only serve to make it the butt of international jokes, and it will be unable to disrupt the steady pace of Hong Kong’s development. 
As the world watches, the unfolding drama between the assertion of sovereignty and international diplomacy continues to test the resilience of Hong Kong’s governance and its relationship with global powers. The message from the HKSAR and China is clear: Attempts to undermine their legal and developmental progress through punitive measures will not be tolerated, and will only lead to further resolve against such external pressures. 
In conclusion, the NSL, as an embodiment of Hong Kong’s constitutional obligations and a safeguard for its prosperity, stands firm against foreign criticism. The US administration’s narrative and imposition of sanctions are seen not only as futile but as a misstep that disregards the right of a region to secure its own future. The path forward for Hong Kong is one of legal fortitude and resilience, unmoved by the shifting tides of foreign opinion and policy. 

The author is the convener at China Retold, a member of the Legislative Council, and a member of the Central Committee of the New People’s Party.

The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.