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Tuesday, September 13, 2016, 00:46

Foreign Ministry condemns US interference in HK

By Shadow Li

HONG KONG - Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying on Monday lashed out at a criticism of Hong Kong’s legislative election by a US agency - saying the Chinese government firmly opposed any intervention in its internal affairs.

Hua, speaking in Beijing at a regular media briefing, stressed that Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China. Hong Kong’s affairs, including the Legislative Council election, are part of China’s internal affairs. Therefore, the US had absolutely no right to intervene in such matters.

Hua was responding to accusations by the US Congressional-Executive Commission on China, which had questioned the disqualification of certain candidates from running in the LegCo election on Sept 4. The commission said it will continue to monitor Hong Kong’s democratic progress.

At the center of the issue is an earlier move by Hong Kong’s returning officers to bar some separatist candidates from contesting seats at the city’s legislature. This is because advocating “Hong Kong independence” is against the Basic Law.

Hua noted that the US commission has always been biased about China’s affairs. It was making unfounded accusations - irrespective of the facts.

The Hong Kong government, on Saturday, also voiced strong objections to the US agency’s charges.

In a statement to media, the spokesperson for the SAR government said it “has all along conducted public elections in strict accordance with the law, with a view to ensuring that the elections are held openly, fairly and honestly”. The statement added that foreign legislatures should not intervene in the internal affairs of Hong Kong.

The Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Hong Kong SAR called the accusations made by the US commission as malicious smear without any regard to the facts. It reiterated that any intervention by foreign authorities, organizations or individuals in China’s domestic affairs was unacceptable.

Lo Man-tuen, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee under the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, described the conclusions made by the US agency as “arbitrary and groundless”.

Lo said the returning officers’ decision to disqualify LegCo election candidates advocating “Hong Kong independence” is well-supported by the Basic Law. It stipulated clearly that Hong Kong is an inalienable part of China.

Lo warned that separatists might have colluded with the foreign forces to destabilize Hong Kong, urging local residents to be vigilant.

Echoing Lo, Hong Kong deputy to the National People’s Congress Peter Wong Man-kong criticized the US commission’s accusations as hurting Sino-US relations.

Wong said the road to democracy varied in different countries and regions. The US must respect the reality of life in the SAR, stop intervening and condoning calls for Hong Kong separatism.

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