Beijing and HK officials stridently hit back at US

Beijing and Hong Kong officials on Saturday hit back at the US government in a series of strident statements for imposing sanctions on Chinese officials over Beijing’s national security crackdown on Hong Kong, while adding that US warnings about the city’s trading environment were simply unfounded.

In a statement, Beijing’s Liaison Office said the sanctions on its seven deputy directors were no more than “a piece of waste paper”, and would only strengthen their determination to fight for national interests.

It also slammed Washington for issuing a commercial advisory, warning businesses about the risks posed by the national security law, saying it had smeared the business environment here.

The Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, meanwhile, dismissed the business advisory, saying international investors generally agreed that Hong Kong’s status as an international financial hub had became more solid since Beijing imposed the security law on the SAR.

For the SAR government, the Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, put out a separate statement attacking US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s criticism of the National Security Law.

“We are alarmed by the sweeping and totally unsubstantiated remarks contained in Secretary Blinken’s statement which represent blatant interventions into the internal affairs of the People’s Republic of China of which the HKSAR is an inalienable part, utter trampling on the rule of law which is a commonly held core value and once again, double standards of the US Administration. We cannot allow such misguided remarks to go unchallenged,” Lam said.

Chief Secretary, John Lee, also echoed Beijing’s views, saying the US had simply failed to acknowledge that stability had returned and this was damaging to US credibility.

He said the SAR would further implement the security law, saying US “bullying” showed that it was vital to safeguard national security.

Commerce chief Edward Yau described the US warning as “biased” and “self-serving”, adding that Hong Kong had always offered a rules-based, open, and competitive trading environment to all.

The Financial Secretary Paul Chan said the national security law had reinforced Hong Kong’s position as an international financial centre. He described the “so-called” business advisory as totally ridiculous and unfounded.

The Secretary for Security, Chris Tang, was equally strident, issuing a six paragraph statement late on Saturday evening.

“Since the implementation of the Hong Kong National Security Law on June 30, 2020, the US Government has exploited every incident and excuse to make slandering remarks about the Hong Kong National Security Law and attack the authorities of the People’s Republic of China and the HKSAR in their dutiful, faithful and lawful implementation of the Hong Kong National Security Law. The accusations are unfounded and have simply twisted facts without credible substantiation. The US Government’s latest claim that the imposition of the so-called “sanctions” and issue of a “business advisory” were in response to the enactment and enforcement of the Hong Kong National Security Law is a lame excuse that could hardly stand up to challenge,” Tang said.

The Department of Justice said the security law was in line with international practice.

Last updated: 2021-07-18 HKT 08:58