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HKSARG responds to passage of acts and resolution on Hong Kong by US House of Representatives
     The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government today (October 16) expressed regret over the passage of the "Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act" as well as another act and a resolution on Hong Kong by the House of Representatives of the United States Congress.
     A government spokesman said, "Since the return to the Motherland, the HKSAR has been exercising 'Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong' and a high degree of autonomy in strict accordance with the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. The 'one country, two systems' principle has been fully and successfully implemented. 'One country, two systems' is the best arrangement for maintaining Hong Kong's long-term prosperity and stability and for making Hong Kong a favourable place to live and work in.  The HKSAR Government will continue to implement the 'one country, two systems' principle resolutely in accordance with the Basic Law.
     "Safeguarding human rights and freedoms is a constitutional duty of the HKSAR Government. Article 4 of the Basic Law stipulates that the HKSAR shall safeguard the rights and freedoms of the residents of the HKSAR and of other persons in the Region in accordance with law.  Human rights and freedoms in Hong Kong are fully protected by the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance and other legislation, in addition to the Basic Law. Also, the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as applied to Hong Kong shall remain in force.  The HKSAR Government attaches great importance to human rights and freedoms and is determined to safeguard them.
     "In respect of the Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2019 (the Bill), the Chief Executive announced on September 4 that the HKSAR Government would formally withdraw the Bill.
     "In the past few months, there were a series of protests and public order events in Hong Kong.  Some of them eventually became violent and illegal incidents, causing damage to district and community facilities as well as injury to members of the public. In response, the Police have been exercising restraint and have been carrying out enforcement actions in strict accordance with the law. On the use of force, police officers will give prior warning, where practicable, and use appropriate force in accordance with police guidelines on the use of force. The purpose of Police's enforcement actions is to protect the life and property of the general public, bring offenders to justice and restore public order as soon as possible.
     "At the same time, the Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC) is conducting a fact-finding study on the handling of large-scale public order events since June, including corresponding actions by the Police, to ascertain the facts and will prepare a report.  The IPCC has established a panel of international experts to assist in the relevant work.  The content of the report will be made public.
     "Regarding strategic trade control, Hong Kong is a separate customs territory under the Basic Law.  We have been implementing comprehensive control on import, export and re-export of strategic commodities in accordance with the laws of Hong Kong and international control lists, and carrying out rigorous enforcement.  We will continue to maintain close co-operation with the US and other trading partners on the matter. 
     "Concerning constitutional development, universal suffrage of 'one person, one vote' for selecting the Chief Executive and electing all members of the Legislative Council is enshrined as an ultimate aim in the Basic Law.  To achieve this aim, the community needs to engage in dialogues, premised on the legal basis and under a peaceful atmosphere with mutual trust, with a view to narrowing differences and attaining a consensus agreeable to all sides.  The HKSAR Government will assess the situation carefully and take forward constitutional development in accordance with the Basic Law and the relevant Interpretation and Decisions of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress."
     The spokesman reiterated that foreign legislatures should not interfere in any form in the internal affairs of the HKSAR.
Ends/Wednesday, October 16, 2019
Issued at HKT 7:42
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