US, UK's support for anti-China rioters exposes ill intention to destabilize HKSAR: Chinese FM
Published: Dec 15, 2023 09:19 PM
Hong Kong. Photo:Xinhua

Hong Kong. Photo:Xinhua

The US and the UK's support for anti-China rioters exposed their ill intention to destabilize the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said at Friday's regular press briefing, in response to the latest remarks by US and UK politicians regarding the issuing of arrest warrants for five fugitives that have fled the HKSAR to overseas.

China strongly deplores and firmly opposes certain countries' flagrant slandering against the national security law for Hong Kong and interference in the rule of law in the HKSAR, and the issuing of arrest warrants for the five fugitives is in line with international law and common practice, said Mao.

The National Security Department (NSD) of the Hong Kong Police Force said on Thursday that the police have put on the wanted list five individuals who have fled overseas and are suspected of having committed offences under the national security law for Hong Kong.

The five are Cheng Man-kit, Hui Wing-ting, Joey Siu, Fok Ka-chi and Choi Ming-da, according to the HKSAR.

The HKSAR government also on Friday strongly opposed and condemned certain countries' remarks on the issuing of arrest warrants for the five individuals.

The police issued arrest warrants of these five individuals according to the law, which is necessary and legitimate, said Mao. The national security laws of other countries including the US and the UK also have extraterritorial effect. These five individuals, under the pretext of "democracy" and "human rights," have engaged in activities that undermine China's national security, Mao said.

The Commissioner's Office of Chinese Foreign Ministry in HKSAR also expressed strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition on Friday. The spokesperson from the Commissioner's Office said that the extraterritorial application of the national security law for Hong Kong is fully in line with the principles of international law and common practice, and is a necessary and justified measure to ensure Hong Kong's long-term stability and order.

Meanwhile, the 2023 Implementation Rules for Amending the Implementation Rules for Article 43 of the Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region took effect on Friday. 

"The amendments are technical in nature and the scope of the proposed amendments is extremely narrow: it only aims at making clear provisions in respect of the validity period of freezing notice, without changing the basis or principle for issuing such notice," said a spokesperson from HKSAR on Friday.

The amendments can make sure that the freeze notice of property related to offenses under the national security law for Hong Kong remains valid until the legal proceedings conclude, according to the HKSAR. 

Lawmaker Elizabeth Quat Pui-fan supports the revision of the implementation rules. The lawmaker told the Global Times on Friday that it can "effectively combat serious crimes that endanger national security."

Anti-China figures are still using various means to deny and evade their crimes that endanger national security. The anti-China forces in the US and the West are eager to continue stirring up trouble and messing up Hong Kong, the lawmaker emphasized.

Authorities are launching a direct strike against anti-China elements and those who disrupt Hong Kong, by pursuing the criminal acts of Jimmy Lai Chee-ying and his peers in accordance with the law and freezing their assets. They have brought this upon themselves and HKSAR is obligated to handle it in accordance with the law, Quat said. 

It is necessary to uphold the rule of law in governing HKSAR, using legal means to maintain stability and uphold social justice, the lawmaker said.

Mao, the foreign ministry spokesperson, reiterated that Hong Kong affairs are purely China's internal affairs that brook no interference from any external forces. China maintains firm resolve in safeguarding the nation's sovereignty, security and development interests. Relevant countries should respect China's sovereignty and the rule of law in HKSAR and stop interfering in China's internal affairs, she said.