China invokes sovereign right to deny or allow anyone into HK

Local | 12 Oct 2017 8:28 pm

It is China's sovereign right to deny or approve anyone's entry into Hong Kong, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said today.

Hua made the remarks in response to a question on British human rights activist and former Hong Kong journalist, Benedict Rogers, (pictured), who was barred from entering into Hong Kong on Wednesday. He is also the co-founder of the Conservative Party's Human Rights Commission.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said London needed an explanation from Hong Kong and Beijing as "Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy, and its rights and freedoms, are central to its way of life and should be fully respected."

Hua said today China lodged solemn representations to Britain over Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson's remarks on Hong Kong affairs.

Hua said Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China, and therefore Hong Kong's affairs are China's internal affairs, Xinhua reports.

She said that it is China's sovereign right to deny or approve anyone's entry to Hong Kong.

"Rogers himself is clear about whether his trip to Hong Kong was intended to interfere in the SAR's internal affairs and judicial independence," said Hua, reiterating that China firmly opposes any government, organization or person's interference in China's domestic affairs.

Rogers, said in a column in London's Guardian today that had received threatening messages from the Chinese Embassy, "culminating in a warning that I would be denied entry.'' Rogers said this was after he had "made discrete enquiries about whether or not it would be possible or desirable to visit Joshua Wong, Nathan Law or Alex Chow in prison, but even inquiring about the possibility drew the attention of the Chinese authorities.''

"The first indication I had that there was a problem came last Friday, when I received a telephone call from a British MP whom I know well and respect greatly. He’d had calls from the Chinese embassy in London expressing concern that an attempt to visit these three student leaders would pose "a grave threat to Sino-British relations.''

"I asked him to reassure the embassy that I would not be attempting to visit any prisons. I also promised not to undertake any public engagements or media interviews while in Hong Kong, and to meet the embassy upon my return for a constructive discussion and to hear their perspectives. These offers were rebuffed and I received further threatening messages from the embassy, culminating in a warning that I would be denied entry,'' Rogers said.

"It appears there was another factor too. I serve as deputy chair of the Conservative party’s human rights commission, a voluntary role, and I am on the Conservative candidates list. It appears that the Chinese authorities misunderstood my status and thought that I was an MP or a senior party or government official, and that my visit to Hong Kong would be in an official capacity.''-The Standard.

Photo: HK Cultural and Political Forum

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