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British hypocrisy evident in HK report: China Daily editorial

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-11-07 21:31

A parliamentary report released on Monday once again exposed Britain's inclination to interfere in the affairs of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region by professing concern about the rule of law being undermined in the SAR by the "dangerous erosion" of the "one country, two systems" framework and the independence of the judiciary.

The House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee expressed concern that continuing participation by British judges in Hong Kong's Court of Final Appeal could lead the United Kingdom to "inadvertently appear complicit in supporting and participating in a system that is undermining the rule of law".

In response, the HKSAR government issued a statement on Wednesday vehemently rejecting the allegations, pointing out that Hong Kong has its own legal system and exercises independent judicial power, including the power of final adjudication, through its own courts.

Stressing that the principle of "one country, two systems" is being fully and successfully implemented, the statement said that the SAR's judicial independence is constitutionally protected, as are the fundamental rights and freedoms of Hong Kong residents, including freedom of speech and the right of peaceful assembly, "which are routinely exercised".

This is not the first time that Britain has made unwarranted remarks about Hong Kong affairs since the protests erupted in Hong Kong in June. It should remember that it no longer has sovereignty, jurisdiction or right of "supervision" over Hong Kong. Its remarks are at best discourteous, worse malicious.

It is such encouragement, overt and covert, from foreign countries that has to a large extent emboldened the anti-government protesters in Hong Kong to resort to the violent acts that have brought chaos and disorder to this Chinese city.

If the violence continues, Hong Kong's reputation as a good place to do business will be irrevocably damaged, which will serve no one's interests, including those of Western countries.

It is high time that those who are lending their backing to the protesters in Hong Kong under the excuse of democracy and freedom of speech listened to mainstream public opinion in Hong Kong and lent their voices to calls for an end to the violence and the restoring of law and order in the city.

Britain should accept that Hong Kong is not its "responsibility" anymore. If it wants to fulfill what it calls its "moral obligation" to the city, it should make it clear that independence is not a realistic option for Hong Kong and that the "one country, two systems" framework is the guarantee for the high degree of autonomy it enjoys.

And if, as it says, it is deeply concerned by the events in Hong Kong over the last six months, it should be backing the SAR government's efforts to end the storm of unrest. Instead, Britain continues to incite the violence that is undermining confidence in Hong Kong's rule of law, which has been the foundation for its status as a world city.

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