Chinese embassy slams Czech criticism of disqualifying Hong Kong lawmakers
Published: Nov 17, 2020 12:24 PM

The Old Town Square is nearly empty amid a lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Prague, the Czech Republic, Oct. 22, 2020. The Czech government on Wednesday decided to close most shops and services in the country and strictly restrict the movement of residents as of Thursday to curb one of the world's fastest growing COVID-19 infection rates. As part of the new measures, which will remain in force until Nov. 3, assemblies of more than two people who are not in the same household or work together will be banned.Photo:Xinhua

The Chinese Embassy in the Czech Republic said Tuesday that China expressed strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to the statement from the Czech Republic's Ministry of Foreign Affairs concerning China's Hong Kong and criticizing China's decision to disqualify four local Legislative Council members.

The Chinese embassy condemned the Czech foreign ministry for grossly interfering in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and China's internal affairs, according to an announcement published on the embassy's official website.

The Czech ministry issued the statement on Monday.

The Chinese embassy said it is international practice for public officials to swear allegiance to the country, and that Czech also has similar laws and regulations.

According to Article 23 of the Czech Constitution, Czech deputies and senators pledge allegiance to the Czech Republic and take an oath to uphold the Constitution and laws of the Czech Republic, said the Chinese embassy.

No other country, including Czech, would turn a blind eye to acts of betrayal by public officials, including legislators, who break their oaths of office and betray their country, said the announcement.

Hong Kong Legislative Council (LegCo) members will be disqualified from office once they are determined by law to have failed to meet the legal requirements of upholding the HKSAR Basic Law and honoring the pledge of allegiance to the HKSAR, according to a decision made by China's Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) on November 11.

The embassy said the relevant decision of the NPC Standing Committee is a requirement for upholding and improving the "one country, two systems" principle, implementing the relevant provisions of the Basic Law and the national security law for Hong Kong, as well as a necessary move to uphold the rule of law and the constitutional order of the HKSAR.

The embassy reiterated that the decision targeted LegCo members who do not meet these requirements.

There is no question of impinging on the high degree of autonomy and freedom of the HKSAR concerning the decision, said the announcement.

We firmly support the HKSAR government in performing its duties in accordance with the law following the decision by the NPC Standing Committee, said the embassy.

The decision is totally China's internal affair, and no foreign power has the right to interfere, said the embassy, urging Czech to abide by international law and the basic norms of international relations, and abandon double standards.

This is not the first time the relevant Czech authorities and politicians have interfered in China's internal affairs.

The speaker of the Czech Senate visited the island of Taiwan in late August, a move that was opposed not only by the Chinese mainland, but also the Czech president's office. 

On July 23, the Senate of the Czech's Parliament passed a decision concerning China's security law for Hong Kong.

Global Times