BEIJING, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese central government on Monday voiced firm support for the Hong Kong police's arrest of seven people, including Jimmy Lai Chee-ying, saying they must be severely punished according to the law for colluding with external forces to endanger national security.
Those disrupting the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and antagonizing China have long been acting as political agents of foreign and external forces, assisting them in interfering in Hong Kong affairs, and carrying out activities of secession, subversion, infiltration and sabotage against China, said a spokesperson for the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council.
During the unrest following the proposed ordinance amendments last year, they frequently visited foreign countries to push for the passage of Hong Kong-related bills by the United States, begged the United States to impose sanctions on China, including Hong Kong, and met with officials at the U.S. consulate general in Hong Kong to conspire in underhanded dealings with sinister intentions, the spokesperson noted.
The United States interfered in Hong Kong affairs and sowed trouble in Hong Kong in such an unscrupulous way precisely because it had been fostering these political agents, and colluding with them with evil intentions.
The anti-China troublemakers' activities hindered the steady and sustained development of "one country, two systems" as well as Hong Kong's long-term prosperity and stability, the spokesperson said, adding that these activities have posed a grave threat to China's national security, jeopardized Hong Kong's lasting peace, and undermined the fundamental interests and wellbeing of Hong Kong residents.
Calling Lai one of the typical troublemakers, the spokesperson said he clamored for "fighting for the United States" through his involvement in plotting, organizing and launching a series of illegal activities.
Lai also used the media he controlled to create and spread rumors, and fan and support violence, the spokesperson said, adding that Lai provided financial support for anti-China elements and forces advocating "Hong Kong independence."
Punishment of Lai and other law breakers under the law is essential to uphold the rule of law, the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson noted that under the "one country, two systems," Hong Kong residents enjoy unprecedented democratic rights and highly extensive freedoms in accordance with the law.
However, the spokesperson said, the bottom line of the "one country, two systems" must not be crossed, and the rule of law will tolerate no challenge.
Those attempting to disrupt the HKSAR and antagonize China flagrantly had challenged the bottom line of the "one country, two systems" and endangered national security. They must be severely punished according to the law on safeguarding national security in Hong Kong and relevant laws in force in the region, said the spokesperson. Enditem