Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said:
Beijing’s imposition of new rules to disqualify elected legislators in Hong Kong constitutes a clear breach of the legally binding Sino-British Joint Declaration.
China has once again broken its promises and undermined Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy. The UK will stand up for the people of Hong Kong, and call out violations of their rights and freedoms. With our international partners, we will hold China to the obligations it freely assumed under international law.
CCP’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin dismissed on Thursday accusations made by several countries over the decision by China’s top legislature on the qualification of Hong Kong Legislative Council members, saying that these accusations reveal their double standards.
“First, they are in no position to do so. Second, what they said makes no sense and third, they have no audience,” Wang told reporters at a regular news briefing in Beijing.
He stressed that Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China, and the qualification of Hong Kong SAR Legislative Council members is purely an internal affair and no foreign country is permitted to make irresponsible remarks on this or intervene in it.
Following the decision of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, which was published on Wednesday, the Hong Kong SAR government announced that four members of the Legislative Council had been disqualified.
Legislative Council members will be disqualified from office once they are determined by law to have failed to meet the legal requirements of upholding the Hong Kong SAR Basic Law and honoring the pledge of allegiance to the Hong Kong SAR, according to the decision.
“We firmly support the SAR government in fulfilling its duty according to the NPC Standing Committee’s decision,” Wang said.
The spokesman also said it is an international general practice that public servants pledge allegiance to the country, even in the countries that accused China.
“No country will ignore or sit by when public servants, including lawmakers, violate their oath and betray the country,” Wang said, adding that some Western politicians’ groundless accusations against China fully revealed their double standards.
“We urge the relevant individuals to strictly abide by international law and basic norms governing international relations, and stop in any way interfering in China’s internal affairs, including Hong Kong affairs,” he said.
Any attempt to pressure China or undermine China’s sovereignty, security and development interests will not succeed, Wang added.