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China to Take Firm Countermeasures If U.S. Imposes Visa Restrictions on Hong Kong Officials: Spokesperson

By Xinhua|Apr 02,2024

Photo taken on July 14, 2020 shows the Golden Bauhinia Square in South China's Hong Kong. (Photo/Xinhua)

Beijing - China will take firm countermeasures if the United States imposes visa restrictions on Hong Kong officials, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Monday.

Wang made the remarks at a regular press briefing in response to the U.S. announcement that it is taking steps to impose new visa restrictions on Hong Kong officials.

Wang said that in a report the U.S. issued again this year, it attacked and slandered the Law on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), as well as Hong Kong's electoral system and its Safeguarding National Security Ordinance.

"The U.S. has discredited Hong Kong's democracy, rule of law, human rights and freedoms, and announced that it is taking steps to impose new visa restrictions on Hong Kong officials, which is plainly unjustified. None of its accusations are based on truth," he said.

The report and announcement constitute serious interference in Hong Kong's affairs and in China's domestic affairs, and are grave violations of the principles of international law and the basic norms governing international relations, Wang said. "China deplores and opposes these actions, and has made strong demarches to the U.S. side."

He noted that since the return of Hong Kong to the motherland, the central government has fully, faithfully and firmly implemented the principles of "one country, two systems," Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong and a high degree of autonomy. The constitutional order in Hong Kong, which is based on China's Constitution and the Basic Law of the HKSAR, has been stable and functioned well, the spokesperson said. The central government has exercised its overall jurisdiction over Hong Kong, the high degree of autonomy has been practiced as it should.

"The Law on Safeguarding National Security in the HKSAR and the Safeguarding National Security Ordinance have been adopted and entered into force. The electoral system has been revised and improved," Wang said. Hong Kong is now equipped with strong national security safeguards, which has helped ensure that it is administered by patriots, provide a solid underpinning for Hong Kong's prosperity and stability, and protect the various rights and freedoms to which Hong Kong residents are lawfully entitled.

Hong Kong has restored order and is set to thrive. "We have every confidence in the steady and sustained implementation of the 'one country, two systems' principle," he added.

Wang stressed that Hong Kong is China's Hong Kong, and that Hong Kong's affairs fall entirely within the scope of China's internal affairs. The Chinese government has unwavering resolve in safeguarding its national sovereignty, security and development interests, in implementing the "one country, two systems" principle, and in opposing any external interference in Hong Kong's affairs.

"We urge the U.S. to abide by the principles of international law and the basic norms governing international relations, understand the 'one country, two systems' principle accurately and in its entirety," Wang said. The U.S. needs to respect China's sovereignty and the rule of law in the HKSAR, and cease any means of interference in Hong Kong's affairs, he added.

"If the U.S. does impose visa restrictions on Hong Kong officials, China will take firm countermeasures," he said.


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