GBA rule of law action plan released

Govt condemns US consul's remarks

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government today strongly disapproved of and condemned the scaremongering remarks made by Consul General of the US to Hong Kong Gregory May.


In a statement, the Hong Kong SAR Government stressed that the US should stop making irresponsible remarks on Basic Law Article 23 legislation and Hong Kong’s effort in safeguarding national security, and stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs which are China’s internal affairs.


It also said Hong Kong law enforcement agencies have been taking law enforcement actions based on evidence and strictly in accordance with the law in respect of the acts of the people or entities concerned, and have nothing to do with their political stance, background or occupation.


The suggestion that certain individuals or organisations should be immune from legal consequences for their illegal acts, including those involving collusion with foreign or external forces, is no different from advocating a special pass to break the law, and this totally runs contrary to the spirit of the rule of law, it pointed out.


Reiterating that Hong Kong courts exercise judicial power independently, the Government said it is extremely inappropriate for the US Consul General to make unwarranted comments on ongoing Hong Kong criminal trials and even attempt to compare the Lai Chee-ying case with the Hong Kong SAR Government’s efforts in promoting the city, and is a complete disregard to the spirit of the rule of law.


The Government also noted that the US is in no position to point its finger at other countries and regions for making their own legislation for safeguarding national security legitimately, as it is an inherent right of every sovereign state and international practice for every state to enact such laws.


It also pointed out that the US has at least 21 pieces of national security-related legislation plus countless administrative orders issued in the name of national security, and has even suppressed dissidents through covert surveillance, illegal wiretapping and global manhunts.


The press statement also highlighted that the US Consul General’s remarks contradict his professed intention for the US to foster a better relationship with Hong Kong, deliberately ignoring the city's constitutional duty and practical needs for Basic Law Article 23 legislation and blatantly smearing Basic Law Article 23 legislation and the law enforcement actions conducted in accordance with the law.


Furthermore, the Hong Kong SAR Government emphasised that the implementation of the National Security Law and Basic Law Article 23 legislation are precisely for safeguarding national sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity, and ensuring the full and faithful implementation of “one country, two systems” under which Hong Kong people administer the city with a high degree of autonomy. At the same time, it will better safeguard the fundamental rights and freedoms of Hong Kong residents as well as other people in the city.


These normal interactions are protected by the Basic Law and the local laws of Hong Kong, it added.