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The Office of the Commissioner of the Chinese foreign ministry in Hong Kong urged some US politicians to immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China’s internal affairs as a whole. It comes after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday the United States was deeply concerned about 12 Hong Kong democracy activists being held in China’s Guangdong province.
Pompeo said that the United States questions the Hong Kong leadership’s commitments to protecting citizens’ rights.
The activists were arrested about two weeks ago off the coast of Hong Kong and were understood to be heading for Taiwan over fears of the new security law.
In June, Beijing imposed the new security law on Hong Kong, announcing it would have jurisdiction for some crimes and that mainland security agents could now openly operate in the city.
Hong Kong has its own internationally respected common law legal system where people who are arrested are promptly produced after their arrest and tried in open court.
But on the mainland, the judicial system is a notoriously opaque entity controlled by the Communist Party and where a conviction is all but guaranteed.
Mr Pompeo, added: “We question Chief Executive Lam’s stated commitment to protecting the rights of Hong Kong residents, and call on authorities to ensure due process.”
However, a spokesperson for the commissioner’s office yesterday expressed strong disapproval of and firm opposition against “groundless remarks” made by US politicians.
The spokesperson said China is a country under the rule of law making clear that Chinese judicial authorities handle cases in accordance with the law, protecting the legitimate rights of criminal suspects.
They stress that they deal with cases involving the mainland and Hong Kong in strict accordance with the “one country, two systems” principle.
“The US side has no right to meddle in China’s internal affairs”, they made clear.
The spokesperson pointed out that while the United States is fraught with economic and social challenges, with racial conflict flaring up and COVID-19 infections and deaths remaining high.
They claimed that American politicians “turned a blind eye” to the problems at home and showed unusual “concern” about the internal affairs of other countries instead.
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“We strongly urge US politicians to abide by international law and the basic norms governing international relations, mind their own business, and immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China’s internal affairs as a whole,” they concluded.
It comes after the Chinese government’s senior diplomat, State Councillor Wang Yi, said on Wednesday the United States was directly intervening in territorial and maritime disputes in the South China Sea due to its own political needs.
Mr Wang said it is becoming the biggest driver of militarization in the region during the latest ASEAN summit.
He added: “Peace and stability is China’s greatest strategic interest in the South China Sea.
“It is also the common strategic aspiration of China and ASEAN countries.”
Wang said China was willing to communicate and have a dialogue with the United States in order to achieve cooperation.
Last month, the United States blacklisted 24 Chinese companies and targeted individuals it said were part of construction and military actions in the South China Sea, its first such sanctions move against Beijing over the disputed strategic waterway.
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