China’s foreign ministry in Hong Kong slammed a six-month report on the financial hub by Britain, saying it ignored “good” societal conditions, and a more stable business environment and instead supported “anti-China” chaos.
The comments came after Britain published its six-monthly report on the Chinese-controlled hub, from Jan 1 to June 30, which stated that authorities have extended the application of a Beijing-imposed national security law “beyond genuine national security concerns”.
Beijing imposed the sweeping law in 2020 after sometimes violent anti-government protests rocked the city in 2019.
While some Western governments have criticised the laws as curbing social and political freedoms in the city, both Chinese and Hong Kong officials have said they were vital to restore stability.
Hong Kong, which returned to China in 1997 from Britain, has had “universal success” in implementing the practice of ‘one country, two systems’, China’s foreign ministry said.
Lai’s prosecution is “highly politicised”, Britain said, adding that the government continued to press for consular access.
Hong Kong police have also issued arrest warrants and bounties against individuals in the UK and elsewhere, it said adding that Britain would not tolerate attempts to intimidate and silence people in its country.
Hong Kong’s legal and judicial systems are at a critical juncture, the report said, adding that while the city’s courts remain independent they are having to “adjudicate on an opaque national security law that places the authority of the Chief Executive on security matters above that of their own.”