Chinese FM rejects US embassy call to ‘release’ 12 Hong Kong residents arrested in mainland

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/12/28 17:56:14

Photo taken on Aug. 5, 2019 shows China's national flag and the flag of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on the Golden Bauhinia Square in Hong Kong, south China. Photo: Xinhua

 China firmly opposes the remarks made by the US Embassy in China concerning the 12 Hong Kong residents who were detained in August for illegally entering Chinese mainland waters, and those remarks ignore the facts and confuse right and wrong, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told a routine press conference on Monday. 

The trial of the detained Hong Kong residents began on Monday in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong Province, neighboring Hong Kong, according to media reports. Shenzhen's Yantian District People's Procuratorate, which handled the case, had already reported on the situation and formally charged those suspected of illegally crossing the border or organizing others to cross the border, Zhao noted. 

"The case is now being handled, the remarks of the US ignore the facts and confuse right and wrong, to which China is firmly opposed," the spokesperson said. 

Shenzhen prosecutors charged two of them with organizing an illegal border crossing and eight others for illegally crossing the border on December 16. As two suspects are under 18, and as minors, their trial will not be open to the public.

Chinese mainland coast guards arrested 12 people suspected of illegally crossing the border in waters under mainland jurisdiction in South China's Guangdong Province in August. One of the suspects, Andy Li Yu-hin, had been arrested for breaching the national security law for Hong Kong. 

Their cases, which have been hyped by anti-government forces in Hong Kong and Western politicians questioning the legitimacy of the law enforcement, send a decisive warning shot to all Hong Kong secessionists who still hold illusions of escaping from justice with the help of external forces, according to some Chinese experts on Hong Kong affairs.

China is a country ruled by law and abides with the law, which holds those violating the law accountable, Zhao said, urging the US to abide by the basic norms of international law and international relations, immediately stop interfering in China's internal affairs through Hong Kong affairs, and immediately stop interfering in China's judicial sovereignty.

The US Embassy in China called on Chinese authorities to immediately release the 12 and permit them to leave, Reuters said, citing a statement the embassy released on Monday.


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