HONG KONG, May 8 (Xinhua) -- The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government on Wednesday refuted an European Union (EU) report by reiterating that human rights and freedom in Hong Kong are fully protected by law and foreign institutions should not interfere in the internal affairs of the HKSAR.
"Human rights and freedom in Hong Kong, including freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of association, the right to vote and the right to stand for election, etc. are fully protected by the Basic Law, the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance and other legislation. The HKSAR government attaches great importance to them and is determined to safeguard them," an HKSAR government spokesman said.
"At the same time, the HKSAR government has a duty to implement and uphold the Basic Law," the spokesman said, adding that "the Basic Law clearly stipulates that the HKSAR is an inalienable part of the People's Republic of China (PRC). Any suggestion for 'Hong Kong's independence' is a blatant violation of the Basic Law and a direct affront to the national sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of the PRC."
"'Hong Kong's independence' runs counter to the successful implementation of 'one country, two systems' and undermines the HKSAR's constitutional and legal foundations as enshrined in the Basic Law. Relevant international human rights convention and court cases have clearly pointed out that freedom of speech is not absolute."
For other issues mentioned in the annual report, including the prohibition of operation of the Hong Kong National Party, a visa application case and the co-location arrangement of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link, the spokesman emphasized that the HKSAR government "has all along been handling Hong Kong affairs strictly in accordance with the 'one country, two systems' principle, the Basic Law and the laws of Hong Kong."
"The HKSAR government reiterates that foreign institutions should not interfere in any form in the internal affairs of the HKSAR," the spokesman said.
The Office of the Commissioner of the Chinese Foreign Ministry in HKSAR also rejected the report on Wednesday.
Since Hong Kong's return to the motherland, the principles of "one country, two systems," "Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong" with a high degree of autonomy have been successfully implemented, and Hong Kong residents have been enjoying unprecedented rights and freedom in accordance with law, the spokesperson said, adding that this is a fact that can not be denied by anyone who views the issue without bias.
Advocacy of "Hong Kong independence" seriously violated China's Constitution, the Basic Law and related laws of the HKSAR, gravely undermined China's sovereignty, security and territorial integrity, and crossed the bottom line of freedom of speech and association, the spokesperson said, adding that the central government as well as the HKSAR government have zero tolerance for "Hong Kong independence."
The EU report ignored the truth and violated mainstream public opinion in Hong Kong by making improper comments on "one country, two systems" and interfering in Hong Kong's internal affairs under the disguise of so-called human rights and freedom, the spokesperson said.
"We urge the EU to respect China's sovereignty, the HKSAR government's administration in accordance with law and the HKSAR's rule of law, and to stop interfering in Hong Kong's affairs and China's domestic affairs."