UPDATE: Chinese FM and embassy urges UK to stop unwarranted claims on Jimmy Lai case
Published: Dec 15, 2020 12:18 PM

Jimmy Lai Photo: VCG

Following the Chinese embassy’s urging UK to stop its meddling in Hong Kong affairs and China's internal affairs after British officials made irresponsible comments on Jimmy Lai Chee-ying's arrest, Chinese Foreign Ministry also slammed the UK’s interference in Hong Kong affairs and undermining its rule of law shows its colonialist double standards on Tuesday.

At a routine news conference on Tuesday, Chinese FM spokesperson Wang Wenbin dismissed UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab’s claim that the arrest of Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai “highlights the authorities’ continued attacks on the rights and freedoms of its people.”

“The UK is now interfering in Hong Kong's affairs under the guise of so-called democracy and freedom, and undermining the rule of law in Hong Kong, which is the usual tactic of the colonialists of using double standards to cause chaos in other countries,” said Wang.

The unwarranted claims of the UK side on the case of Jimmy Lai constitute interference in Hong Kong's judicial affairs, which are China's internal affairs. China expresses its grave concern and strong opposition, the embassy said. "China upholds the rule of law. Hong Kong is a society under the rule of law. No one has extrajudicial privileges, and no offender escapes justice." 

The embassy also stressed that the legal proceedings instituted against Jimmy Lai and some other anti-China elements aiming at destabilizing Hong Kong, for suspicion of undermining China's national security in collusion with foreign or external forces are lawful steps taken by the enforcement institutions of the Hong Kong SAR who were fulfilling their duty. This brooks no slandering or disruption.

Wang reiterated that it was only after the return of Hong Kong to the motherland that Hong Kong residents enjoyed unprecedented democratic rights and a wide range of freedoms, which they never had under UK rule. 

“During the more than 150 years of British colonial rule over Hong Kong, governors were appointed by Britain. Hong Kong had no democracy and Hong Kong people never enjoyed real freedom,” said Wang. “The Public Security Ordinance and the Societies Ordinance during that era imposed strict restrictions on assemblies, processions, and associations.”

Wang stressed that China upholds the rule of law, and Hong Kong is a society under the rule of law where no one has extrajudicial privileges, and no offender escapes justice. The UK has no right of supervision or moral responsibility following Hong Kong’s return.

What the UK should do is put aside its colonial mentality, abandon double standards, and respect the HKSAR government and the judiciary in discharging their duties and handling cases in accordance with the law. The UK should respect the fact that Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China, respect non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries, and respect the basic norms of international relations, Wang said.

Global Times