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Washington's interference in major HK trial slammed

By XI TIANQI in Hong Kong | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2023-02-09 07:17

Photo taken on July 14, 2020 shows the Golden Bauhinia Square in Hong Kong. [Photo/Xinhua]

Officials of the central and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region governments have strongly condemned the "irresponsible remarks "made by some politicians in the United States regarding the trial of 47 Hong Kong activists in connection with the illegal 2020 "primary election", which is the SAR's largest national security case so far.

They called the US' interference a "botched political show", saying it laid bare the sinister intention of anti-China forces to undermine the stability Hong Kong has always yearned for and the SAR's well-established rule of law.

Before the nomination of candidates for the Seventh Hong Kong Legislative Council in 2020, the 47 activists, including Benny Tai Yiuting and some former lawmakers, had conspired and organized a so-called "primary election" to seize control of the Legislative Council, paralyze its operations and overthrow the Hong Kong government.

The activists were later arrested and charged with the "conspiracy to commit subversion of State power" under the National Security Law for Hong Kong. The trial started on Monday at West Kowloon Magistrates' Court and is expected to continue for 90 days.

On Tuesday, the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China in the HKSAR strongly disapproved of and firmly rejected the groundless accusations that some groups and members of the US Congress have made about the trial, saying they were slandering the human rights situation and the rule of law in Hong Kong, and interfering in the SAR's judicial proceedings.

The spokesperson for the commissioner's office said the activists not only jeopardized the democratic electoral system stipulated in the Basic Law of the Hong Kong SAR, but is also suspected of committing the crime of subversion under the National Security Law for Hong Kong.

Some politicians stick to their hypocrisy and double standards, repeatedly interfere in the judiciary of the SAR and put political manipulation above the law, the spokesperson said, adding that the commissioner's office urges them to immediately stop doing so and respect the facts.

The Hong Kong government also hit back at the unwarranted slander. A government spokesman said that under the HKSAR's Basic Law and the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance, any person facing criminal charges is entitled to and will receive a fair trial.

Court rules are strictly based on evidence and all applicable laws. Cases are not handled differently depending on the profession, political ideology or background of the people involved, the spokesman added.

Lau Siu-kai, a consultant for the Chinese Association of Hong Kong&Macao Studies, said the activists have been supported by the US and the West all along, and have become their agents to disrupt Hong Kong.

Foreign politicians' concerns on the case and their criticisms of the Hong Kong's legal system are unsurprising. These only reveal their arrogance and double standards, Lau said.

He added that most Hong Kong residents stand on the opposite side of the activists, and the US' meddling will only expose the politicians' evil plots.

Lawmaker Chan Yung said what the 47 defendants did will never be tolerated in Hong Kong, where the rule of law is a core value. He slammed the hypocrisy and sinister intention of anti-China politicians, calling on different sectors in the city to work together to safeguard the SAR's hard-won development.

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