Hong Kong, China – China warned the United Nations (UN) experts to stop meddling in its affairs after officials from the world body raised concerns about the application of a uniform national security law to Hong Kong.
“Some people disregard the facts and maliciously slander China’s human rights situation… and crudely interfere in China’s internal affairs,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a daily news briefing in Beijing on Friday, PressTV reported.
“Stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs and China’s affairs in any way,” the Chinese official added.
The remarks came after the UN special rapporteurs on human rights said in a letter on Friday that parts of the law “appear to criminalize freedom of expression or any form of criticism” of China. The rapporteurs also added the security law “poses a serious risk” to “fundamental freedoms”.
They claimed the security law breached international legal obligations, and urged China to “reconsider” the decision to apply the law to semi-autonomous Hong Kong. Hong Kong enacted the national security law back in July, criminalizing sedition, secession, and subversion against mainland China.
Mainland security agencies were also officially allowed to be based in Hong Kong. Critics of the law claim it as a “blow to the region’s autonomy and civil liberties”. Brief foreign-backed protests were staged in Hong Kong after the law was proposed on May 22.
The law is necessary to tackle secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with foreign forces following violent anti-government protests that were staged in June last year. The US, Britain, and other Western countries have criticized the law and have moved to take action against Beijing and Hong Kong. China, however, is adamant that Hong Kong is a purely internal Chinese affair since the city is part of China.
Hong Kong was hit by violent protests over another bill that would have reformed its extradition law last year. Rioters vandalized the city, destroying public and private property and attacking anyone deemed to be pro-government. Hong Kong dropped that bill, but the foreign-backed acts of violence continued.
The Chinese government found evidence that the United States and Britain fanned the flames of that unrest in Hong Kong by supporting the protesters. Hong Kong has been governed under the “one-country, two-system” model since the city — a former colony under UK occupation — was returned to China in 1997.