The Chinese national flags and flags of the Hong Kong SAR flutter in Hong Kong. (Photo: Xinhua)
Fifty-three countries on Tuesday issued a joint statement, welcoming China's adoption of a national security law for Hong Kong.
The law was passed unanimously on Tuesday by the National People's Congress, China's top legislature.
"Non-interference in internal affairs of sovereign states is an essential principle enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and a basic norm of international relations," said Cuba's representative on behalf of the 53 countries in reading the joint statement at the 44th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday.
The joint statement said that in any country, the legislative power on national security issues rests with the state, which in essence is not a human rights issue and therefore not subject to discussion at the Human Rights Council.
"We believe that every country has the right to safeguard its national security through legislation, and commend relevant steps taken for this purpose," the statement said.
"In this context, we welcome the adoption of the decision by China's legislature to establish and improve a legal framework and enforcement mechanisms for HKSAR (Hong Kong Special Administrative Region) for the purpose of safeguarding national security, as well as China's reaffirmation of adherence to 'one country, two systems' guideline."
The statement on behalf of the 53 countries said the new legislation will provide a better guarantee for "one country, two systems", benefit Hong Kong's long-term prosperity and stability and ensure the exercising of the legal rights and freedom by Hong Kong people in a safer environment.
"We reiterate that HKSAR is an inalienable part of China. Hong Kong affairs are China's internal affairs that allow no foreign interference. We urge relevant parties to stop using Hong Kong-related issues to interfere in China's internal affairs."
Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian on Wednesday said that the 53 countries' welcoming of the law on safeguarding national security in Hong Kong at the UN Human Rights Council meeting is "the call of justice", which once again shows that people in the international community have fair judgments.
Zhao noted that the national security legislation for Hong Kong is not at all an issue of human rights and should be by no means politicized.
A small number of external forces are interfering in another country's internal affairs in the name of human rights for an ulterior purpose, he said.
"We urge related parties to recognize the situation and regard the law on safeguarding national security in Hong Kong in an objective and fair way. Stop smearing and interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China's internal affairs," Zhao said.