November 7, 2023
HONG KONG – Lawmakers from various political parties on Monday staged protests outside the United States Consulate General in Hong Kong, strongly condemning US threats of sanctioning 49 prominent Hong Kong figures for their role in safeguarding national security.
They noted that the US accusations on National Security Law for Hong Kong (NSL) are groundless and urged the US to stop political interference and manipulation.
Lawmaker Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, who is also the chairman of New People’s Party, pointed out that the NSL has brought peace and stability to Hong Kong. She noted that US lawmakers’ accusations on the law are baseless, calling it a smear campaign against Hong Kong.
Ip also said that the NSL stipulated that the Office for Safeguarding National Security of the Central People’s Government in Hong Kong shall exercise jurisdiction over a case concerning offenses endangering national security under specific situations.
The actions of the office are not subject to the jurisdiction of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. However, personnel involved must adhere to national laws and the laws of Hong Kong. Suspects and defendants have the right to engage legal representation for their defense. Upon lawful arrest, they are also entitled to a fair trial. Ip said she hopes the US lawmakers would clearly read the provisions of the law and not make unwarranted speculations and claims.
Several members of Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, the city’s largest political party, also protested at the scene. Holden Chow Ho-ding, vice-chairman of the party, said that US politicians have repeatedly smeared Hong Kong’s legal system, and their purpose is clear.
Chow, who was also invited to attend the Hong Kong Legal Week 2023, said that it’s the consensus of experts attending the event that Hong Kong has an excellent legal system, which further proved that the smear campaign of the US is ignorant and futile.
Members of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong protest against US politicians’ threats of sanctioning Hong Kong officials, judges, and prosecutors involved in safeguarding national security, outside the US Consulate General in Central, on Nov 6, 2023. (ANDY CHONG / CHINA DAILY)
Over 30 members from the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions also went to the US consulate to protest. Lawmaker Joephy Chan Wing-yan said the party may continue to organize such protests.
She said that the US Consulate General in Hong Kong did not accept protest letters from Hong Kong society in the past few days, citing it as an example of its failure to listen to public opinion and its double standards on Hong Kong issues.
Elizabeth Quat Pui-fan also criticized the US lawmakers’ double standards. She said that under the strict national security system in the US, those who violated the law would be jailed. But when Hong Kong protesters stormed the Legislative Council in 2019, US politicians called them “heroes”. “How can such a ridiculous thing happen? Is it that only the US is allowed to be patriotic but not Hong Kong?” Quat demanded.