Deep regret as HK government hits at activists remarks in US

Local | Amy Nip and Reuters 19 Sep 2019

The Hong Kong government expressed deep regret after local activists Joshua Wong Chi-fung and Denise Ho Wan-see urged members of the United States Congress on Tuesday to pass legislation to combat human rights abuses in the city.

And China's foreign ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, said yesterday any attempt to collude with foreign forces will fail, as he called on the United States and other countries not to interfere in China's internal affairs.

The activists attended a hearing of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China during which they asked congressmen to pass the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act - which would require Washington to annually assess the city's special economic status.

In response, the Hong Kong government released a statement which described the activists' testimony as serious and unfounded allegations.

A spokesman expressed deep regret over their actions and reiterated that foreign legislatures should not interfere in the SAR's internal affairs in any form.

"The 'one country, two systems' principle has been fully and successfully implemented. Human rights and freedoms in Hong Kong are fully protected by the Basic Law, the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance and other legislation," the statement said.

"The HKSAR government absolutely respects the public's freedoms and rights of assembly, procession and expression. Since early June this year, the police have received more than 190 notifications of public meetings or public processions. In over 83 percent of the cases, applicants were issued a letter of no objection." During the commission meeting, Wong, who is the secretary-general of Demosisto, said withdrawing the fugitive bill is useless now.

"The most important demand of Hong Kong people to be met is a structural revolution," he said. "We are past the point of no return."

Ho, a well-known singer, said there is a fundamental conflict between the Chinese model, which has no respect for freedom and human rights, and the hybrid society of Hong Kong, which holds these values dear.

"This is not a plea for so-called foreign interference. This is a plea for democracy," she said.

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