Yao Jing, China’s Ambassador to Pakistan.
Yao Jing, China’s Ambassador to Pakistan.

ISLAMABAD: Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing has criticised what he called foreign interference in the affairs of Hong Kong and warned that the Chinese government would not tolerate intervention of foreign forces in its internal matters.

In a statement explaining Beijing’s stance on the ongoing troubles in Hong Kong, Mr Yao said: “External forces have played a very disgraceful role in the evolving of the situation in Hong Kong.”

In the statement that’s in a question-and-answer format, the Chinese ambassador says that since the start of the process for amending two ordinances, which triggered the massive protests in Hong Kong, “some western politicians have publicly stood at the forefront and been backseat drivers, calling white black, making a lot of groundless and irresponsible remarks and allegations, and interfering with Hong Kong affairs.”

Beijing will not allow foreign interference in the matter because Hong Kong is very much a part of China, asserts Mr Yao. “Hong Kong is China’s Hong Kong. Hong Kong affairs are China’s internal affairs. China will not tolerate the intervention of external forces.

“The Chinese central government has solemnly dem­a­nded that certain countries should abide by the basic norms of international law, international relations and their own commitments not to intervene in Hong Kong affairs, and stop supporting violence and interfering in Hong Kong affairs in any form,” states the ambassador.

“The Chinese central government unswervingly safeguards national sovereignty and Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability, and resolutely stands by the government of Hong Kong SAR (Special Administrative Region) in its administration according to the laws and regulations, supports the Hong Kong police in law enforcement and the Hong Kong judiciary to punish violent criminals in accordance with the law, and appreciates the action of the patriotic citizens of Hong Kong to defend the rule of law in Hong Kong.”

Explaining why the Hong Kong SAR sought to amend the ordinances at the centre of the recent protests, Mr Yao says: “In early 2018, a Hong Kong resident killed his pregnant girlfriend in Taiwan, China and escaped back to Hong Kong. Since Hong Kong has no criminal jurisdiction in this case, the SAR government proposed to amend the above two ordinances to extradite the suspect to Taiwan and charge him for murder there...

“However, since the begi­n­ning of amending the two ordinances in this February, some citizens of Hong Kong had various doubts due to lack of knowledge about law and judicial systems in the mainland China. Some people and media with ulterior motives took the opportunity to spread rumours or create social panic in order to thwart the amendment of the ordinance.

“Since June, Hong Kong has witnessed several large-scale rallies against the amendments of the ordinance. The government of Hong Kong SAR suspended the amending procedure on 15th June and stopped relevant legislative work after consulting people from various walks of life in order to restore tranquillity to the society as soon as possible.”

However, despite the suspension of the legislative work, violent protests have continued, says Mr Yao. “Since 12th June, the protests in Hong Kong have completely gone beyond the freedom of assembly, demonstration or protest.

The situation has escalated into extremely violent incidents...

“The facts are startling and horrifying. Over the past two months, 461 people have been injured in violent conflicts, including 139 police officers. What is even more indignant... is that some violent radicals have torn up the Basic Law of the Hong Kong SAR, defamed Chinese national emblem and national flag, which seriously violated the law.

Their behaviour has openly offended the national dignity and challenged the bottom line of the ‘one country, two systems’ principle.”

Published in Dawn, August 16th, 2019