The Chinese Foreign Ministry’s office in Hong Kong accuses the US of “acting to destroy the city’s prosperity and stability.” The statement came after the US announced it was creating a “safe haven” for Hong Kongers in response to Chinese repression.
“By offering the so-called safe harbor, they are trying to slander Hong Kong, slander China and engage in activities aimed at destroying the prosperity and stability of the city,” the office of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hong Kong said on Friday.
The United States “disregards basic facts and falsely slanders Hong Kong’s state security regulations,” and its “shameless political manipulation will meet resistance from over 1.4 billion Chinese, including Hong Kong compatriots, and is doomed to failure,” led by the former Chinese ambassador to Poland, Liu Guangyuan.
This is a reaction to the decree of US President Joe Biden, which ordered the Ministry of National Security on Thursday to suspend deportation procedures against Hong Kongers in the US for a year and a half, justifying it with Chinese repression in the city. According to estimates by Reuters, the decision may affect several thousand people.
“Over the past year, the PRC continued its attack on Hong Kong’s autonomy, undermining other democratic processes and institutions, imposing restrictions on academic freedom and fighting freedom of the press,” Biden said in a press release, referring to China’s actions.
Criticism of controversial regulations
The US and other Western countries accuse China of restricting Hong Kong’s autonomy and depriving its inhabitants of civil liberties, while breaking international obligations assumed before the transfer of the former British colony to Beijing in 1997. The communist government of the PRC rejects foreign criticism, assessing it as interference in internal affairs.
Criticism concerns in particular the controversial state security laws imposed on Hong Kong by Beijing in June 2020. According to the authorities, they are needed to maintain social stability after the mass anti-government protests in 2019, but many Hong Kongers believe they are a tool to persecute the opposition and silence voices of opposition.
Campaign against the democratic movement
The Hong Kong administration has stepped up its campaign against the democratic movement in recent months. Many activists were put in prisons, many others left the city for fear of persecution. The largest pro-democracy daily was forced to close, and dozens of activists were accused of subversive activities for participating in the organization of the primaries of a democratic camp.
In Hong Kong, the process of selecting an electors’ committee has begun, which will elect the head of the region’s administration, and after the latest reform of the electoral system, it will also appoint some members of the local parliament and verify the “patriotism” of others. The introduced reforms limited the field for the democratic opposition and in practice prevent it from participating in the formal politics of the city.
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