The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government today (December 6) expressed deep regret over the spreading of untrue claims overseas in recent days by several members of the Legislative Council (LegCo) and political figures who urged foreign governments or legislatures to interfere with the affairs of the HKSAR, and made the following response:
"Since the return to the Motherland, the HKSAR has been exercising 'one country, two systems', 'Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong' and a high degree of autonomy in strict accordance with the Basic Law of the HKSAR of the People's Republic of China. Hong Kong's human rights and freedoms, including the freedom of speech, of assembly, of the press, of publication, of religion and so on, have been fully protected since the return to the Motherland.
"In the past few months, many demonstrations and public meetings that were proceeding peacefully changed into violent and illegal clashes, resulting in damage to local and community facilities. Some politicians in Hong Kong openly supported the United States' 'Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act', and suggested similar legislation in other countries or regions with the intent to demand foreign intervention in Hong Kong affairs. This only conveys the wrong message to violent protesters and misleads them into thinking they have gained the support from other countries or regions. These politicians must bear the responsibility for society descending into chaos.
"From June this year until now, there have been over 900 demonstrations, processions and public meetings. Some political figures freely took part in these assemblies and processions and conducted media interviews without any restrictions. Ironically, they are also the ones who incessantly criticise the HKSAR Government for suppressing freedom. On the other hand, the District Council Election took place smoothly on November 24. Candidates with different views actively took part and many were successfully elected. It is therefore clear that their rights and freedom have never been stifled.
"We urge these Hong Kong politicians, who wantonly smear our city's reputation, to treasure Hong Kong's freedom. The entire society should say no to violence and persuade protesters to express their views in a peaceful manner, to prevent peaceful protests from mutating to violent confrontations, and to stop depriving people with different opinions the freedom to live a normal life, to voice their discontent against violence and to take photos of rioters' destructive acts.
"These irresponsible politicians, who make prejudicial and false statements about the conditions of human rights and freedom in Hong Kong, mislead people into thinking human rights and freedoms are being suppressed in the city. If such comments tarnish the international reputation of Hong Kong, they would also take a toll on investor confidence, exert more pressure on Hong Kong's economy, and ultimately make society and the general public suffer.
"'One country, two systems' is the best arrangement to maintain Hong Kong's long-term prosperity and stability and to make Hong Kong a favourable place in which to live and work. The HKSAR Government will resolutely continue to implement the 'one country, two systems' principle. The HKSAR Government urges the relevant figures to stop all acts showing contempt towards 'one country, two systems' which disregard the interests of the country and Hong Kong."
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