Members of the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions and other social groups protest on Wednesday outside the US Consulate-General in Hong Kong against US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. They condemned the “shameful” behavior that encouraged Taiwan separatists, and they urged the US to abide by the one-China policy and the stipulations in the three China-US joint communiques. (ANDY CHONG / CHINA DAILY)

Leaders of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government and communities on Wednesday strongly condemned United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's Taiwan visit, saying that the US is "playing with fire" and calling the trip a blatant provocation in violation of the one-China policy.

Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu said in a statement on Tuesday evening that Pelosi's visit is tantamount to encouraging "Taiwan independence" and undermines stability in the Taiwan Straits.

"Such a move, betting on and in contempt for the well-being of more than 20 million people in Taiwan, is extremely selfish," Lee said.

A spokesperson for the Hong Kong SAR government said in a statement that Hong Kong will fully cooperate with all of the necessary countermeasures to be taken by the central government against the US to safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests and uphold national dignity.

Lee's top aides and bureau heads in the Hong Kong SAR government issued statements one after another to express their indignation over the visit. They said the visit greatly threatens peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits, and will lead to a very serious situation with grave consequences.

In another statement, members of the city's legislature condemned Pelosi's visit, saying it "sent a wrong message" to separatist forces in Taiwan.

The lawmakers said they fully support the central government in taking all countermeasures against Pelosi's trip, warning that the US should bear all consequences as a result.

Leung Chun-ying, a vice-chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference National Committee, the nation's top political advisory body, also vowed full support to all necessary countermeasures by the central government. Pelosi's visit serves only the interests of the US, and not of Taiwan, Leung said.

Former World Health Organization director-general Margaret Chan Fung Fu-chun, a member of the Standing Committee of the CPPCC National Committee, said the one-China policy is a basic norm for international relations and also the political basis of and bottom line in China's diplomacy.

Stressing the clear position and great concerns of the central government on the Taiwan question, Chan urged relevant parties to recognize the sensitivity of the issue and to stop meddling in China's internal affairs.

Maria Tam Wai-chu, deputy director of the Hong Kong SAR Basic Law Committee under the National People's Congress Standing Committee, said Pelosi's visit is a blatant provocation that challenges China's bottom line, since the visit is in essence an attempt to provoke separatist sentiment in Taiwan and split China.

The visit shows that the US has ignored the one-China policy, a dangerous move that must be deterred, Tam added.

Various political groups, including the city's largest political party, the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, and the city's largest labor group, the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions, also strongly disapproved of Pelosi's trip.

In separate statements, they slammed Pelosi, saying that the visit has deliberately provoked an escalation of Taiwan separatist activities, and has undermined peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.

They vowed to resolutely defend China's national sovereignty and territorial integrity, oppose any act that aims to split the country and firmly support the central government in promoting the peaceful reunification of the motherland.

Several groups of residents went to the US Consulate General in Hong Kong on Wednesday to express their objections to Pelosi's visit, calling on the US to stop meddling in China's internal affairs and destabilizing peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits.

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