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Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun in Response to the Baseless Comments on Hong Kong by US and UK

(From Chinese Mission to the United Nations)

2020/05/29

China firmly opposes and completely rejects the baseless comments made by the US and the UK on China's legislation for Hong Kong SAR to safeguard national security.

Adopting a legislation is purely China's internal affair. It does not constitute threat to international peace and security at all. It has nothing to do with the work and mandate of the Security Council. It's not an issue on the Council's agenda. China strongly opposes any discussion by the Security Council on this matter in any form, at any time.

The request by the US and UK is completely politically motivated. It seriously violates the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and the basic norms of international relations, jeopardizes the mutual trust and cooperation of member states, poisons the atmosphere of the Council and weakens the role of the Security Council. It will create an extremely dangerous precedent. Obviously, they are abusing the forum of the Council, and acting in an extremely irresponsible manner.

China expresses strong condemnation and resolute opposition against this practice. It's our view that, instead of wasting time on this issue, the Council should pay more attention and even take action on issues more relevant to international peace and security. Just to name a few, the impact of the Brexit on international peace and security, the unilateral sanctions imposed by the US and other countries, the excessive use of force against protesters in Minneapolis, the killing of an African American young man and racial discrimination against African Americans. This list can be endless. China stands ready to work with you on these issues.

I once again reiterate that Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China. Hong Kong affairs are purely China's internal affairs and allow no external interference. As you are well aware, since June last year, serious organized acts of violence and separatist activities took place in Hong Kong, which have got the support from some foreign forces and posed a real threat to China's national security. It is fully legitimate and legal for the National People's Congress of China to establish and improve legal framework and enforcement mechanisms for Hong Kong to safeguard national security. Such legislation does not affect Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy or the rights and freedoms of Hong Kong residents. Instead, it is conducive to the implementation of the principle of "one country, two systems" and the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong.

The legal basis for the Chinese government's administration of Hong Kong is the Chinese Constitution and the Basic Law of the HKSAR, not the Sino-British Joint Declaration. After Hong Kong's return to China, the UK has no right of sovereignty, jurisdiction or supervision over Hong Kong, still less is the US entitled to comment on Hong Kong with the excuse of the Sino-British Joint Declaration. There was no democracy or freedom in Hong Kong under the British rule, and the people of Hong Kong did not even have the right to take to the street. Has any one heard of the US criticizing the UK? Such double standards and hypocrisy of the US and the UK have fully unveiled their malicious political intention.

The US and the UK, out of hidden political agenda, have blatantly interfered in Hong Kong affairs, emboldened rioters, and threatened and intimidated the HKSAR government. They bear unshirkable responsibility for the serious violence in Hong Kong. They have provide massive funding to the so-called opposition engaged in separatist activities, and organized special training on street violence, in order to create conflicts and chaos. The purpose is to plunge Hong Kong and even China as a whole into turmoil. I am sure their approach is nothing new to everyone here, seeing what has happened in other parts of the world. Many conflict situations and humanitarian catastrophes on the Council's agenda are exactly the results of their interference.

The gross interference of the US and the UK is an important reason of China's decision on national security legislation for Hong Kong. What makes the US and the UK so furious about this legislation? The answer is simple. The legislation will prevent and stop their meddling and hold them accountable. They will not be able to do whatever they want in Hong Kong, as they used to.

I want to remind some countries of Article 24 of the UN Charter. It stipulates that the Security Council discharges the primary responsibility of maintaining international peace and security on behalf of UN Member States. Facing more and more global challenges, the world needs a united Security Council that fulfills its mandate in good faith. Sadly though, the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and the basic norms of international relations are seriously violated and the role of the Council greatly undermined by the irresponsible moves of some countries. The US and UK abuse force, impose unilateral sanctions, and seek regime change all over the world. The representative of US talked about international commitments. The US is the last country in the world that can talk about international commitments. US has withdrawn from international instruments, including the Paris Agreement, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and the Treaty on Open Skies. The representative of the US also mentioned COVID-19 pandemic and human rights. I would point out that, it is the US that failed to take responsible approach and measures to cope with COVID-19 and save lives, leading to deaths of so many innocent people. It is the US that failed to address the issue of racial discrimination. It is the US that failed to protect the rights of migrants, especially their children. It is the US that failed to protect its people from growing gun violence. Facts have repeatedly prove that the US is the source of turbulence of the world and the real trouble maker. The US is the threat to international peace and security, which merits the Council's attention.

China strongly urges the US and the UK to immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs, immediately stop hegemonism and power politics, and mind their own business, rather than provoking tensions and making troubles everywhere. Let me make this clear: whatever the US and the UK may say, the Chinese government is firm in its resolve to safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests, implement the principle of "one country, two systems", and oppose external interference in Hong Kong affairs. Any attempt to use Hong Kong to interfere in China's internal matters is doomed to fail.

In response to the remarks of certain delegations, I would like to further underline the following points:

First, if you are honest to yourselves, to your human conscience and to your dignity, you should understand China is doing the same as what every other country is doing in maintaining its own sovereignty, territorial integrity, national security, and protecting people's rights. It is the legitimate right of every government and every congress. That is not only a right or power, it is also an obligation we cannot fail to exercise.

Secondly, I hope you could spend a few minutes to watch some video clips shot not by media, but by the ordinary people. You will see clearly what happened in Hong Kong in the past year since June. Will you allow such violence to sustain and continue in your own countries? Will you tolerate the foreign forces which are supporting such violent, splitting and separating activities, which threaten your national security? I think you all have your answers.

Thirdly, it will be completely wrong for some countries to view China as an enemy. In contrary, China is actively engaged in maintaining international peace and security, contributing to global economy. China is indeed a peace builder and a contributor to global development and security.

Fourthly, I wish to emphasize that trying to get the Security Council involved in the national legislation of a member state may lead to further discussion on such issues in other countries. Discussion like this can only make the Council more divided and fail the expectation of the people in the world. All countries are faced with domestic challenges. It is your own responsibility to take care of your own problems, to take care of your own people. Blame-shifting, scapegoating and politicizing could not solve any problem. If you were ill, you should take the medicine by yourself. By asking others to take the medicine would not cure your own disease, but also hurt others.

Lastly, No matter what some may say about China, China's development will not stop. China will do whatever it can to protect its people, to promote its development, to guarantee its sovereignty and national security. We will try our best to protect the rights of 1.4 billion Chinese people. No interference can stop China from moving forward. China categorically rejects the blames of the representative of the US against China. I simply advise her to think about what's happening in this country and to save the lives of your own people, you have lost too many.

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