Govt rejects EU’s biased report

June 13, 2024

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government said it strongly disapproves of and rejects the unfounded and biased content targeting Hong Kong’s safeguarding of national security, human rights etc in a so-called annual report on Hong Kong issued by the European Commission and the High Representative of the European Union (EU) for Foreign Affairs & Security Policy.


In a press statement, it also urged the EU to discern facts from fallacies, respect the international law and basic norms governing international relations, and stop interfering in Hong Kong matters which are China’s internal affairs.


The Hong Kong SAR Government pointed out that since the implementation of the National Security Law (NSL), the EU has ignored the large-scale and incessant riots that occurred in 2019 in Hong Kong, and has attacked Hong Kong in safeguarding national security dutifully, faithfully and in accordance with the law through the so-called report.


It has also deliberately neglected the fact that the NSL has enabled the livelihood and economic activities of the Hong Kong community, and the business environment as well, to return to normalcy.


The EU has demonstrated hypocrisy with double standards, the Hong Kong SAR Government said.


In fact, early this year, a survey conducted by a major foreign chamber of commerce reflected that nearly 80% of its members interviewed had confidence in the rule of law in Hong Kong, and nearly 70% of them also indicated that the operation of their enterprises had not been affected by the relevant laws, the Hong Kong SAR Government pointed out.


It also made it clear that extraterritorial effect for the offences endangering national security under the NSL fully aligns with the principles of international law, international practice and common practice adopted in various countries and regions.


The Hong Kong SAR Government specified that Hong Kong Police are duty bound to pursue those who have allegedly committed offences under the NSL outside Hong Kong and the action is fully justified. As an example it stated that after fleeing overseas, the people on the wanted list allegedly continued to commit offences under the NSL.


Furthermore, it stressed that the EU must immediately act reasonably and sensibly, and stop smearing the laws safeguarding national security in the Hong Kong SAR.


Emphasising that the rule of law in Hong Kong is strong and will not change, the Hong Kong SAR Government said that all prosecutorial decisions are based on an objective analysis of all admissible evidence and applicable laws, and everyone charged with a criminal offence has the right to a fair hearing.


In addition, the right to choice of lawyers is protected by the Basic Law, and it is well-established by case law that such a choice means a right to choose lawyers who are available and entitled to practise in Hong Kong, and not overseas lawyers who are not qualified to practise generally in Hong Kong.


The Hong Kong SAR Government explained that the amendment to the Legal Practitioners Ordinance was introduced in 2023 with a view to addressing the potential national security risks associated with the participation in national security cases by overseas lawyers who are not qualified to practise generally in Hong Kong, and implementing the interpretation by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of Articles 14 and 47 of the NSL.


It underescored that all defendants receive a fair trial strictly in accordance with laws applicable to Hong Kong, and convicted defendants have the right to appeal both conviction and sentence under the law.


Moreover, it reiterated that any attempt by foreign countries or external forces to undermine Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability by slandering the city’s situation will only expose their own weakness and faulty arguments and be doomed to fail.


The Hong Kong SAR Government elucidated the point that it will continue to discharge its duty, in adherence to the principle of the rule of law, to steadfastly ensure the successful implementation of “one country, two systems”, “Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong” and a high degree of autonomy.


What’s more, it stated that it will continue to create strong impetus for growth at full steam, forge a better integration of a capable government and an efficient market, and proactively compete for enterprises and talent to strengthen the city’s competitiveness.


The Hong Kong SAR Government added that will take the city’s economic development to new heights, so as to better serve Hong Kong citizens and foster the city’s development.

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