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FM: National security law a litmus test

By MO JINGXI | China Daily | Updated: 2020-06-10 09:02

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi. [Photo by Feng Yongbin/China Daily]

China urged the United Kingdom to respect the country's legitimate rights to safeguard national security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and said the UK must behave with extreme prudence on this issue.

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi made the remark in a phone conversation with UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on Monday.

As permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, China and the UK should set an example in abiding by the basic norms governing international relations and not interfering in other countries' internal affairs, he said.

Wang said that China, in its relations with the UK, has neither interfered in nor pointed a finger at the UK's domestic affairs, adding that Hong Kong affairs are purely China's internal affairs that allow for no external interference.

China hopes that the UK will respect the Constitution of the People's Republic of China and the Basic Law enacted in accordance with the Constitution, respect China's legitimate rights to safeguard national security on its territory, and respect the Chinese central government's administration of Hong Kong under the principle of "one country, two systems", he said.

Wang also noted that the national security legislation for the SAR aims to better implement the "one country, two systems" principle.

He said that Article 1 of the decision passed by the National People's Congress late last month made it clear that the principles of "one country, two systems", "Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong" and a high degree of autonomy will be fully and faithfully honored.

He said that China will never accept the groundless accusation that the national security legislation will change "one country, two systems".

Calling the national security legislation a litmus test, Wang said that if one expects lasting peace and stability in the SAR, they should support rather than worry about the legislation. If one wants "one country, two systems" to go a long way, they should support rather than oppose the legislation.

Raab said in the phone conversation that the UK is committed to developing a strong bilateral relationship with China and the two sides can have a candid exchange of views on any topics within the framework of a mature UK-China relationship.

He added that his country is willing to deliberate on the contents of Monday's in-depth exchanges, and continue to communicate with China in the spirit of mutual respect.

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attends the 10th China-EU High Level Strategic Dialogue in Beijing, convened via videoconference, June 9, 2020. [Photo by Feng Yongbin/China Daily]

In another development, while attending the 10th China-EU High Level Strategic Dialogue, Wang said that China and the European Union are long-term comprehensive strategic partners, instead of institutional competitors.

The dialogue, convened via videoconference on Tuesday, was held by Wang and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell.

Over the past years, the China-EU relationship has kept cooperation as its main keynote with fruitful results achieved in dialogue and cooperation in all areas, Wang said, noting that China and the EU have more cooperation and consensuses than competition and differences.

Borrell said the EU will ensure the completion of negotiations on the bilateral investment agreement within this year and build a closer EU-China relationship.

Xinhua contributed to this story.

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