The Remarks of Spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in Iceland Refuting the Unjustified Comments Against the Legislation on Safeguarding National Security in Hong Kong is Featured in Full on Morgunblaðið

On July 6, Morgunblaðið published an editorial with distorted comments on the Legislation on Safeguarding National Security in Hong Kong. The spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in Iceland sent letter to the newspaper to refute its wrong remarks.

On July 11, the remarks were featured in full as following:

On July 6th, Morgunblaðið published an editorial entitled One state, One Bad System with unjustified accusations and biased interpretation of the legislation on safeguarding national security in Hong Kong, as well as unwarranted comments on the affairs of Hong Kong. China strongly deplores all those comments.

The editorial criticized the legislation has turned "One Country, Two Systems" into "One Country, One System", which violated Beijing's commitments and obligations under the Sino-British Joint Declaration. These allegations run counter to facts and seek to confuse opinions. First of all, in all countries, unitary and federal alike, only the state legislature has the legislative power on issues concerning national security. The central government of China enacted the legislation legally and constitutionally, and the policy of "One Country, Two Systems" will be fully and faithfully applied without being deformed, distorted or turned into so called "One Country, One System". The goal of this legislation is to close the critical loophole in national security in Hong Kong, cement the foundation of One Country, and provide maximum safeguard for Hong Kong to harness the strengths of Two Systems on the basis of upholding One Country, which has a far-reaching impact on the long-term stability of "One Country, Two Systems". Secondly, The legal basis for the Chinese government to govern Hong Kong is the Chinese Constitution and the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The Sino-British Joint Declaration is not relevant in this regard. As China resumed the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong in 1997, all provisions concerning the UK under the Joint Declaration had been fulfilled. The UK has no sovereignty, jurisdiction or "right of supervision" over Hong Kong after its return. The basic policies regarding Hong Kong stated by China in the Joint Declaration are not commitments to the UK, but China's declaration of its policies. These policies have not changed; they will continue to be upheld by China.

The editorial accused the legislation with unwarranted and distorted interpretation that it has undermined the human rights and freedoms of Hong Kong residents. The core of the legislation is to respect and protect human rights with the balance between freedoms and order. The legislation clearly stipulates that Hong Kong residents shall enjoy the rights and freedoms including the freedoms of speech, of the press, of publication, of association, of assembly, of procession and of demonstration according to the law. The legislation adheres to the basic principle of human rights protection with the boundary of the rule of law in its very implementation. It cannot endanger national security under the pretext of human rights and freedom. It is necessary to clarify the differences between sedition and freedom of speech. There are similar provisions in the constitutions of over 100 countries and in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights that the exercise of basic rights and freedoms shall not endanger national interests, public interests or the interests of others.

The editorial claimed that the legislation included vaguely defined offences and could be abused by China's national security authorities to oppress the people. Such wanton comments were just the scaremongering to trigger unnecessary panic and worries. The central government of China has authorized Hong Kong SAR with jurisdiction over large majority of cases against national security, and only exercise jurisdiction under rare circumstances and subjected to very strict approval procedures. The legislation adheres to the modern principles of rule of law such as a legally prescribed punishment for a specified crime, presumption of innocence, suiting punishment to crime and non-retroactivity. The legislation sets clear limits on related law enforcement activities and provides that the Office for Safeguarding National Security of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall perform its mandate in strict compliance with the law and be subject to supervision in accordance with the law. The legislation only targets very few crimes and activities that seriously endanger national security. It definitely does not regard Hong Kong's opposition camp or pan-democratic camp as " imaginary enemies ", and law-abiding Hong Kong citizens will not be negatively affected. Hong Kong is a politically pluralistic society and the implementation of "One Country, Two Systems" in Hong Kong has already reflected the political inclusiveness of the central government. However, there is boundary for "one country" and "two systems". Any social system has its own set of rules. Everyone must abide by the rules and shall not challenge the bottom line. The legislation draws a clear line as the Sword of Damocles that hangs over the anti-China forces who are responsible for the chaos in Hong Kong. Those who continue to challenge the law can only be brought to justice.

Hong Kong is part of China. Hong Kong affairs are China's internal affairs. What China is doing now is to enact legislation on safeguarding national security in a local administrative region of China, which fulfills the expectation of Hong Kong residents for peaceful life but failed over the past year amid mounting social unrest. I hope the Charter of the United Nations can be fully respected with the principle that no State has the right to intervene in the internal affairs of any other State out of the respect for sovereignty, and the legislation can be viewed in a calm, objective and impartial manner. Let's work together for the long-term peace and prosperity for Hong Kong.


Le Shuang                               

The Spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in Iceland