Go to main content
HKSAR Government strongly disapproves and firmly rejects remarks by UK Foreign Secretary
     A spokesman for the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) today (February 28) said that the HKSAR Government strongly disapproves and firmly rejects the untruthful and biased remarks recently made by the Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom (UK), Mr James Cleverly, about the Hong Kong National Security Law (NSL) and the rights and freedoms in the HKSAR.
     The HKSAR Government spokesman rebuked that Mr Cleverly's untruthful and unfounded remarks about the implementation of the NSL in the HKSAR amount to political smearing and fact twisting. The spokesman said, "National security is a matter within the purview of the Central Authorities. It is the responsibility and right of every country to safeguard its national security. The UK has many laws on national security, but the government official concerned chooses to continue to wantonly smear the NSL and deliberately ignore the fact that the implementation of the NSL has enabled the livelihood and economic activities of the Hong Kong community at large to resume as normal, and the business environment to be restored. Clearly, this is hypocrisy out of political motivation with double standards, and a despicable manoeuvre with politics prevailing over the law."
     The spokesman said that Mr Cleverly's remarks about Hong Kong's law enforcement actions are malicious fabrication, "All law enforcement actions taken by Hong Kong law enforcement agencies are based on evidence, strictly according to the law and for the acts of the people, institutions or organisations concerned, and have nothing to do with their political stance, background or occupation. We are appalled by the remarks of the UK government official that seem to suggest that persons with certain backgrounds should be immune from legal sanctions for their illegal acts and activities. Such remarks are tantamount to granting such persons privileges to break the law and are totally contrary to the spirit of the rule of law."
     The spokesman stressed, "The NSL clearly stipulates that human rights shall be respected and protected in safeguarding national security in the HKSAR, and that the rights and freedoms, including the freedoms of speech, of the press, of publication and of assembly, Hong Kong residents enjoy under the Basic Law and the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights as applied to Hong Kong shall be protected in accordance with the law. Nonetheless, such rights and freedoms are not absolute. The ICCPR expressly states that some of them may be subject to restrictions as prescribed by law that are necessary for protection of national security, public safety, public order or the rights and freedoms of others, etc. The UK government official's remarks about the rights and freedoms in the HKSAR amount to political manipulation in disregard of facts."
     The spokesman added, "Indeed, since the implementation of the NSL, the media landscape in Hong Kong has been as vibrant as ever. As always, the media can exercise their right to monitor the HKSAR Government's work. Their freedom of commenting on and criticising government policies, which take place as a matter of routine, remains uninhibited as long as they are not in violation of the law."
     The spokesman reiterated, "The HKSAR Government steadfastly safeguards national sovereignty, security and development interests, and upholds the authority of the NSL. It resolutely carries out its duties and obligations to safeguard national security in accordance with the law, and to ensure the steadfast and successful implementation of 'one country, two systems'. The HKSAR Government strongly urges the UK to immediately stop acting against the international law and basic norms of international relations and interfering in the affairs of the HKSAR." 
Ends/Tuesday, February 28, 2023
Issued at HKT 15:57
Today's Press Releases