China vows to retaliate after US bans defence exports to HK over national security law

01-Jul-2020 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:02 AM Print This Post

China has promised to retaliate against the United States after it moved to stop exporting defence equipment to Hong Kong because of the national security law.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said the national security legislation for Hong Kong was an internal matter for China and no foreign country had the right to intervene.

Zhao said China was determined to maintain its sovereignty, security and to carry out the “one country, two systems” in Hong Kong and strongly opposed any interference by external forces.

“Intimidating China will never work,” said Zhao.

“In response to the US mistaken action, China will take necessary countermeasures to firmly defend our own national interests”.

Zhao’s warning came after China’s top legislative body, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, unanimously passed the national security law for Hong Kong prohibiting acts of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces to endanger national security.

The Japanese government on Tuesday described China’s actions as “regrettable,” one of the strongest criticisms in Tokyo’s diplomatic vocabulary.

In a statement issued shortly after the legislation was enacted, Japan said the law will damage international confidence in the principle of “one country, two systems” that has been applied to the former British colony since it was returned to Chinese control.

Chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga said it was important that Hong Kong was able to maintain its freedom and openness in order to prosper in a “democratic and stable way”.

Seoul also expressed concern over the impact of the law on economic exchanges between South Korea and Hong Kong, as well as the uncertainties over Hong Kong’s future autonomy.

“Hong Kong is an important entity that has close human and economic exchanges with us. The government is closely watching developments… following the passage of the national security law,” foreign ministry spokesman Kim In-chul said.

“The government respects the 1984 joint statement by China and the UK [which agreed to uphold the city's autonomy] and we believe it is important for Hong Kong to continue developing amid stability while enjoying its high degree of autonomy under the ‘one country, two systems principle’,” he told a regular press briefing.

“Stable and cooperative ties between the US and China are crucial for peace and prosperity in northeast Asia and the world.

“The government supports diplomatic efforts to maintain cooperative ties between the two countries,” he added.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced hours before the passage of the law that the US would stop exporting defence equipment to Hong Kong over security concerns.

Hong Kong had special privileges that allowed it to import dual-use technologies ones that can have both military and commercial use and defence equipment from the US that could not be sold to mainland China.

“We can no longer distinguish between the export of controlled items to Hong Kong or to mainland China,” Pompeo said. “Our actions target the regime, not the Chinese people. But given Beijing now treats Hong Kong as ‘one country, one system’, so must we.

“The United States is reviewing other authorities and will take additional measures to reflect the reality on the ground in Hong Kong.”

The US Commerce Department also warned it would take further measures to remove Hong Kong’s preferential treatment after it said it had suspended regulations allowing the city to import US technology because of the security risks posed by the legislation. Suspending export licence exemptions granted to Hong Kong, but not to mainland China, targets companies that import sensitive technologies to Hong Kong then re-export them to the mainland.


Category: Hong Kong

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