The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government hit back at criticism in a report by the European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy late Friday, rejecting their "doubts and concerns" on issues such as the national security law for Hong Kong, the principle of "One Country, Two Systems" and judicial independence.
Describing the remarks as "biased and ungrounded political smearing" against the national security law for Hong Kong, an HKSAR government statement said it is the legitimate right and duty of every state to safeguard its national security, and further explained that enacting laws on national security with extraterritorial effect is also squarely in line with international practice.
"It is totally untrue and biased to say that the National Security Law for Hong Kong has had a chilling effect on the exercise of rights and freedoms in Hong Kong," said the statement.
The report also questioned China's willingness to uphold the principle of "One Country, Two Systems," which the HKSAR government rejected as groundless, saying it meets the interests of the Hong Kong people, responds to the needs of maintaining Hong Kong's prosperity and stability and serves the fundamental interests of the nation.
The statement said the decision made by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress to disqualify four members of the Legislative Council (LegCo) from running in general elections is a constitutional, lawful and reasonable arrangement. It stressed that a member of the LegCo of the HKSAR does not fulfill the legal requirements and conditions if the member advocates or supports "Hong Kong independence," refuses to recognize China's sovereignty over Hong Kong and the exercise of sovereignty, solicits intervention by foreign or external forces in HKSAR affairs, or carries out other activities endangering national security.
The HKSAR government also shrugged off concerns the report expressed about the judiciary and prosecuting authorities in Hong Kong.