China to react with countermeasures if US imposes visa restrictions following verdict on '35-plus' defendants in Hong Kong
Published: Jun 03, 2024 06:54 PM
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Regarding the US taking steps to impose new visa restrictions on officials from the Chinese mainland and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) following the verdict of a case of conspiracy to subvert state power, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said on Monday that if the US imposes visa restrictions on Chinese officials, China will resolutely respond with countermeasures.

The US deliberately attacks the "One Country, Two Systems" principle, smears the National Security Law (NSL) for Hong Kong, makes irresponsible comments on democracy and freedom in Hong Kong, and interferes in the internal affairs of China by imposing visa restrictions, which also violates international law and basic norms of international relations, Mao said. 

"China is strongly dissatisfied and resolutely opposed," the spokesperson said. 

In total, 47 people were prosecuted in a case involving the infamous "35-plus" political strategy, and most of them had been convicted previously. Except for two people who were acquitted on Thursday due to insufficient evidence, the other 45 people have all been convicted so far. 

The spokesperson said the so-called primaries initiated by anti-China troublemakers involved in the case severely challenged the constitutional order of the HKSAR and seriously endangered national security. 

The other 31 defendants in the case have already pleaded guilty, and the law enforcement and judicial organs of the HKSAR have performed their duties according to the law, and the punishment of various acts that endanger national security is reasonable and lawful, Mao noted. 

Following the verdict, the US State Department said on Friday "it is deeply concerned by the guilty verdicts" and is taking steps to impose new visa restrictions on officials in both Chinese mainland and HKSAR responsible for implementing the NSL for Hong Kong.

The central government's office for safeguarding national security in the HKSAR also expressed firm support on Sunday for the HKSAR's judicial authorities in lawfully punishing actions and activities that endanger national security and stated that external forces will not be allowed to interfere with or disrupt the rule of law in Hong Kong. 
The foreign ministry's spokesperson said on Monday that central government firmly supports the HKSAR's law enforcement, emphasizing that Hong Kong affairs are purely China's internal affairs and any external forces shouldn't interfere. 

We urge the US side to genuinely respect China's sovereignty and Hong Kong's legal system, adhere to international law and the basic norms of international relations, and not interfere in Hong Kong affairs in any way, Mao said. 

Global Times