EU's move over national security law in Hong Kong wrong: HKSAR gov't
HONG KONG, July 30 (Xinhua) -- China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government said Wednesday night that European Union's (EU) conclusions and measures in response to the enactment of the Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the HKSAR was a wrong decision.
The EU's intention to provide Hong Kong residents with more relaxed asylum, migration and residency policy on the pretext of the enactment of the national security law in Hong Kong "is a blatant interference in the affairs of the HKSAR," and "such moves are deeply regretted," a spokesman for the HKSAR government said.
"The export restrictions on sensitive equipment and technologies proposed to be imposed by the EU on Hong Kong are based on groundless allegations," the spokesman said, adding that the HKSAR government urged the EU to stop such political manipulation which is not in the interests of Hong Kong residents and EU partners.
"We will continue to identify suitable suppliers for procurement as needed," he said.
The spokesman said that currently, the HKSAR has signed agreements on surrender of fugitive offenders (SFO) with seven EU member states, including the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands and Portugal. The HKSAR has all along upheld the principle of mutual assistance and reciprocity to carry out law enforcement cooperation with other members of the international community in accordance with the law with a view to fighting crime.
"We object to any attempt of politicizing juridical cooperation, which damages the good basis of cooperation established between the two sides over the years and deviates from the purpose of juridical cooperation in safeguarding justice and the rule of law," he said.
Hong Kong and EU member states maintain close economic and trade relations, and have been nurturing bilateral cultural and technological co-operation in recent years. In 2019, there were more than 2,300 companies in Hong Kong with parent companies in the EU, an increase of 7.5 percent from 2017, the spokesman said.
According to EU statistics, the total merchandise trade between the EU and Hong Kong amounted to 48 billion euros, with the EU enjoying a trade surplus of 25.4 billion euros over Hong Kong. In addition, over 29,000 EU nationals live in Hong Kong and a number of European chambers of commerce have been operating here for many years, the spokesman added.
"The HKSAR government calls on EU member states to adopt a pragmatic and rational attitude, and refrain from adopting measures that will adversely affect the long-standing mutually beneficial relations between Hong Kong and the EU," the spokesman said.
"We reiterate that the HKSAR is an inalienable part of the People's Republic of China, a local administrative region that enjoys a high degree of autonomy under 'one country, two systems' and comes directly under the Central People's Government.
"Matters relating to the HKSAR remain our country's internal affair. No other state has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, in such internal affairs," the spokesman said.
The spokesman said it was the legitimate right and duty of every state to safeguard its national security.
"The national security law is entirely constitutional, lawful, rational and reasonable as national security falls squarely under the purview of the central authorities and since, after some 23 years, the HKSAR has yet to fulfil its constitutional obligations to enact local legislation to safeguard national security."
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