China said on Monday it strongly condemned and firmly opposed meddling in its domestic affairs by the United States, Canada, Britain, and Australia after they condemned the arrest of activists in Hong Kong.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian was speaking at a news briefing in Beijing.
Foreign ministers from the United States, Canada, Britain, and Australia condemned last week’s arrest of over 50 democracy activists in Hong Kong in a joint statement on Sunday, calling on China to respect the freedom of the people on the island.
Joint Statement on Hong Kong
The text of the following statement was released by the Governments of the United States of America, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
We, the Foreign Ministers of Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom, and the United States Secretary of State, underscore our serious concern at the mass arrests of 55 politicians and activists in Hong Kong for subversion under the National Security Law.
The National Security Law is a clear breach of the Sino-British Joint Declaration and undermines the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ framework. It has curtailed the rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong. It is clear that the National Security Law is being used to eliminate dissent and opposing political views.
We call on the Hong Kong and Chinese central authorities to respect the legally guaranteed rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong without fear of arrest and detention. It is crucial that the postponed Legislative Council elections in September proceed in a fair way that includes candidates representing a range of political opinions.
Source: US State Department
Statement from National Security Advisor Robert C. O’Brien
In May 2020, the Trump Administration foresaw and declared the death of Hong Kong’s free and open society at the hands of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Last week’s politicized arrests of more than 50 people, former elected officials among them, for exercising their political rights guaranteed under the Basic Law, is the latest of many successive nails that Beijing has driven into the coffin of Hong Kong democracy.
In May, the Administration demanded answers from Beijing about the origins of the virus and accused the World Health Organization of enabling a cover-up by deferring to the CCP. Just as China ignored its international obligations under the Sino-British Joint Declaration, it continues to do so with the International Health Regulations.
The United States was the first major country with the courage and conviction to candidly acknowledge the true nature of the CCP regime. It is critical that nations around the world demand accountability from Beijing. The world cannot continue to pay heavy prices for its naiveté and complicity in Beijing’s irresponsible and harmful practices – whether it is ending the rule of law in Hong Kong or not cooperating with health officials on the pandemic. The United States is examining further options to respond.
Source: The White House