China Daily editorial
In a move that once again highlights the necessity for the central authorities to introduce legislation for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to safeguard national security, the US Senate passed the so-called Hong Kong Autonomy Act on Thursday.
If signed into law, the act would impose mandatory sanctions on individuals and entities that the US State Department considers to be materially contributing to what the US senators have decided is “the failure of the Government of China to meet its obligations” under the 1985 Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law.
Given the spurious nature of this claim, which has been prompted by the national legislature drawing up national security legislation for Hong Kong, a spokesman for the SAR government rightly dismissed the allegation as being “seriously misleading”.
But, of course, Washington loves using such specious pretexts to pass domestic laws that give a veneer of respectability to its interference in the internal affairs of other countries. Their unanimous approval of the act shows how important US senators view Hong Kong as a base for activities aimed at harming the interests of China.
The act also proposes secondary sanctions on banks that do business with anyone the US State Department deems responsible for compromising the territory’s autonomy with the apparent aim of limiting access to US dollar transactions.
Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen, who sponsored the bill, said the act sends a clear message to Beijing that there would be consequences if its move undermines Hong Kong’s autonomy, the suggestion being that this is what the proposed national security legislation will do.
But such meretricious remarks are intentionally deceiving, since the planned legislation is being introduced to put an end to the manipulation and instigation of secessionist and subversive activities in Hong Kong by external forces.
Given that opposition lawmakers have hindered the HKSAR enacting laws on its own to prohibit such activities and that under the patronage of anti-China external forces such activities have become a threat to the well-being of law-abiding residents in the SAR, the national legislature could delay no longer in closing the legal loopholes that have enabled these activities to roil the SAR with seeming impunity.
With the introduction of the legislation such deeds will be unequivocally defined and punished by law. Anyone with an unbiased perspective will appreciate that China’s efforts to plug the national security loopholes in Hong Kong law are being made in accordance with the “one country, two systems” principle.
The world has ample evidence that instead of championing the protection of freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, as they claim to be doing, US politicians simply want to be able to stick their hands into Hong Kong affairs and stir up trouble with such long-arm jurisdiction, no matter how violent the turmoil they foment.
Law-abiding Hong Kong residents have expressed their support for the impending law. They hope that it will put an end to the criminal activities that have plagued the SAR over the past year, and allow Hong Kong to move forward rather than remaining locked in the past.
Source: China Daily