BEIJING – Rebutting the Five Eyes’ (US, UK, Canada, Australia, NZ) joint statement stigmatizing the recent decision by China’s top legislature to disqualify 4 disloyal lawmakers from Hong Kong, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian expressed strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to repeated external interference in China’s internal affairs.
He directly warned the Five Eyes alliance not to harm China’s sovereignty and security.
“No matter how many ‘eyes’ you have, be careful not to be poked and get blind by harming China’s sovereignty, security and development interests,” Zhao said at a routine news conference on Thursday, The Global Times reported.
On Wednesday, the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing group consisting of Australia, the UK, Canada, New Zealand and the US accused China’s top legislative organ’s disqualification of members of the Hong Kong Legislative Council (LegCo) of allegedly being “part of a campaign to silence critics”, and called on Beijing to reinstate them.
Zhao slammed the statement as blatant interference in China’s internal affairs that flagrantly violated international law and the basic norms of international relations.
“Some Western countries have been used to taking a stand on every issue related to Hong Kong, using it to attack China’s political system,” Fan Peng, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences’ Institute of Political Sciences, told the Global Times on Thursday, adding, “They are only using Hong Kong as a counterweight to China in international issues, and never do anything for the interests of Hong Kong citizens.”
“In the face of China’s strong national will, loose alliances such as the Five Eyes formed for the sake of making profit seem like a joke,” Fan noted.
Earlier on Thursday, the spokesperson of the spokesman from the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the HKSAR rebutted the Five Eyes’ accusation of China breaching the Sino-British Joint Declaration.
“No single word or clause in the document, which has altogether eight paragraphs and three annexes, grants the UK any responsibility to Hong Kong after the city’s return, still less any right to meddle with Hong Kong affairs. The UK has no sovereignty, jurisdiction or the right to supervise Hong Kong, and likewise other countries are in no position to make unwarranted comments about Hong Kong affairs on the pretext of the Joint Declaration,” he said.
The statement from the Five Eyes shows the West has fewer cards to play in the Hong Kong affairs in the post-National Security Law era, Fan said.
“Five or 10 years ago, such a statement of condemnation might have had an impact on the international community,” Fan noted, adding, “But the world has seen China’s determination and the malicious incitement of some Western countries, and this statement seems like a joke.”
Shortly after China’s top legislature adopted a decision on November 11 on the qualifications for members of the LegCo, four opposition lawmakers – Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu, Kwok Ka-ki, Dennis Kwok Wing-hang and Kenneth Leung Kai-cheong – who have infamous records for creating trouble and are deemed unfit for their LegCo duties, were disqualified from the local legislature in Hong Kong with immediate effect.
Zhao stressed: “It is only right and proper to allow only patriots to govern Hong Kong, and those who oppose China and stir trouble in Hong Kong should be out of the office.”