This undated photo shows the Central Government Offices at Tamar, Hong Kong. (PHOTO/HKSAR GOVERNMENT)
HONG KONG – The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government on Thursday vehemently refuted the so-called "2022 Annual Report" issued by the United States Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC), particularly its slanderous remarks and ill-intentioned political attacks against the HKSAR.
In a statement, the government said the HKSAR is an inalienable part of the People's Republic of China and again urged the United States to respect the basic norms governing international relations and stop maliciously interfering in the affairs of the SAR.
The HKSAR government reiterated that the so-called "sanctions" arbitrarily imposed by the US as mentioned in the CECC’s so-called "report" smack of despicable political manipulation, grossly interfere in China's internal affairs and SAR's affairs, and violate the international law and the basic norms governing international relations
“The CECC's so-called ‘report’ has again exploited unsubstantiated allegations to pursue the CECC's despicable political motives,” the statement reads.
The government said the National Security Law for Hong Kong clearly stipulates the four categories of offenses that endanger national security and law-abiding people will not unwittingly violate the law.
It reiterated that all law enforcement actions are based on evidence, the law and the actions of the suspects, and have nothing to do with their politics, background or occupation.
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“On the bail arrangement, with the cardinal importance of safeguarding national security and preventing and suppressing acts endangering national security, the NSL introduces more stringent conditions to the grant of bail in relation to offenses endangering national security,” the government said.
“It is outraging that the CECC has made extremely misleading statements on the implementation of the arrangement,” it added.
The government reiterated that the so-called "sanctions" arbitrarily imposed by the US as mentioned in the CECC’s so-called "report" smack of despicable political manipulation, grossly interfere in China's internal affairs and HKSAR's affairs, and violate the international law and the basic norms governing international relations.
“The HKSAR government despises such so-called ‘sanctions’ by the US, is not intimidated by such a despicable behaviour, and will resolutely continue to discharge the duty of safeguarding national security,” it added.
The government said the so-called "sanctions" neither create any obligation for financial institutions under Hong Kong law.
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“Our financial institutions and our financial system as a whole are robust and resilient. They will continue to operate normally and smoothly despite any undue pressure from the US. Hong Kong's status as an international financial centre is unshakable,” it said.
“In fact, the HKSAR government noticed that the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong recently expressed that most of its members intended to stay in Hong Kong,” it added.
The government said the so-called "sanctions" neither create any obligation for financial institutions under Hong Kong law
It noted that the NSL clearly stipulates that human rights shall be respected and protected in safeguarding national security in the HKSAR.
The CECC's so-called "report" has attempted to smear the Personal Data (Privacy) (Amendment) Ordinance 2021 as a tool to suppress opposition and the free flow of information, the government said.
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“The HKSAR government reiterates that the only objective of the Ordinance is to combat doxxing acts that intrude into personal data privacy,” it said.
The government also strongly rebuked the CECC's so-called "report" for smearing Hong Kong's education system.
It said the Education Bureau has the responsibility to safeguard students' wellbeing, uphold the professionalism of teachers and maintain the society's confidence in the teaching profession.
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“The EDB should cease the working relations with any teachers' organization that engages in political propaganda and even engages schools in politics under the guise of being a professional education organization,” the government said.
The government also pointed out the untruthful allegations in the so-called "report" against the improved electoral system of the HKSAR, which put in place legal safeguards to ensure full implementation of "patriots administering Hong Kong".
The government also strongly rebuked the CECC's so-called "report" for smearing Hong Kong's education syste
“The HKSAR government laments that critics of HKSAR's electoral arrangements have chosen to totally ignore the unprecedented challenges and security risks Hong Kong faced for almost one year from the latter part of 2019 when elected members of the legislature were exploiting the political structure to engage in activities undermining national security,” the government said.
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In response to the unfounded allegations on issues related to the District Council in the so-called "report", the HKSAR government pointed out that the oath-taking for District Council members is conducted in strict accordance with the law.
The government said Hong Kong has the distinctive advantage of enjoying strong support of the motherland and being closely connected to the world under the "one country, two systems" principle.
“As the center of economic gravity in the world shifts eastward, the mainland, along with other fast-growing economies in the region, will be a major engine of global economic growth and an abundant source of economic opportunities,” it said.