This photo dated June 23, 2016 shows the Central Government Offices at Tamar, Hong Kong. (PHOTO /HKSAR GOVERNMENT)
HONG KONG – The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government on Thursday said it firmly opposed the unfounded accusations made by the European Union about the National People’s Congress’ decision on March 11 to improve the electoral system of the HKSAR.
In a statement issued on Thursday evening, a government spokesman said the NPC decision was entirely constitutional, legal, and reasonable and was aimed at eliminating the deficiencies of the electoral system.
“Through constructing a democratic system that is consistent with the actual situation of Hong Kong, it fully conforms to the constitutional order under the 'one country, two systems' principle and manifests Hong Kong characteristics that can thereby put Hong Kong back on track and make rectification," the spokesman was quoted as saying in the statement.
The government stressed that the electoral reform was both timely and necessary, “as anti-China forces had created chaos in the Legislative Council, paralyzed the operation of the HKSAR government, and even colluded with external forces to undermine Hong Kong's safety and interests”
"We firmly oppose the misleading claims by the EU concerning the improvement to the electoral system as well as their ulterior motives,” he added.
The government stressed that the electoral reform was both timely and necessary, “as anti-China forces had created chaos in the Legislative Council, paralyzed the operation of the HKSAR government, and even colluded with external forces to undermine Hong Kong's safety and interests.”
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“No country or government could turn a blind eye to such dangers. The government is committed to ensuring elections being conducted in a fair, just and open manner," the spokesman said.
He added that it is hypocritical for the EU to “attack China by creating issues in the HKSAR using the pretext of human rights, democracy and autonomy.”
"We strongly refute the accusation that 'one country, two systems' is undermined. On the contrary, no one is more committed than the central people's government (CPG) to the implementation of 'one country, two systems', which is the best institutional arrangement to ensure Hong Kong's long-term prosperity and stability,” he said.
“President Xi Jinping has stressed that the CPG will unswervingly implement the policy of 'one country, two systems' and ensure that it is fully applied in Hong Kong without being bent or distorted,” the spokesman added.
He said the legal basis for implementing 'one country, two systems' is the Constitution of the People's Republic of China and the Basic Law, and not the Sino-British Joint Declaration.
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“As the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has stressed time and again, the Sino-British Joint Declaration stipulated the resumption of exercise of sovereignty by China over Hong Kong and relevant arrangements during the transition period,” the spokesman said.
“The basic policies regarding Hong Kong declared by China in the Joint Declaration were China's statement of policies, not commitment to the United Kingdom or an international obligation as some erroneously claim," he added.
The spokesman also noted that since the implementation of the National Security Law in the HKSAR, stability has been restored and national security safeguarded in the financial hub.
He also opposed the EU's accusation on the arrest of so-called "pro-democracy activists", adding that law enforcement actions in the city are based on evidence, strictly follow the law, and have nothing to do with the suspects’ political stance, background or occupation.
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It would be contrary to the rule of law to suggest that people of certain political background could be above the law, the spokesman said.
"The international community should fully acknowledge this fact and stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs which are internal affairs of China," he added.