China asks Western nations to stay out of its internal matters in Hong Kong

BEIJING: China has lodged diplomatic protests with the US, the UK, Canada and Australia for “interfering” in its internal matters by criticising its new security law for Hong Kong and also warned America of countermeasures if it did not stop the “frivolous” political manipulation over the issue.
China’s parliament on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a new controversial security law for Hong Kong, a move that critics say threatens the fundamental political freedoms and civil liberties in the semi-autonomous territory, also a major global trading hub. The security legislation bans secession, subversion of state power, terrorism, foreign intervention and allows mainland China’s state security agencies to operate in Hong Kong.
“China’s decision to impose the new national security law on Hong Kong lies in direct conflict with its international obligations under the principles of the legally binding, UN-registered Sino-British Joint Declaration,” the joint statement released by the four countries said. The proposed Chinese law would undermine the “one country, two systems” framework, the four allies said in the statement, referring to the arrangement under which Hong Kong, a former British colony, was handed back to China in 1997.
Reacting to the four countries’ statement, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Zhao Lijian told a media briefing on Friday that China has lodged diplomatic protests with the four countries. “Hong Kong is part of China and the central government has the right to establish a national-level legal system to implement ‘one country, two systems”, Zhao said. It is China’s internal affair and no foreign country has the fright to interfere, he said. —PTI

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