China firmly opposes US visa restrictions over Hong Kong-related issues: Embassy

China resumed the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong in 1997. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (XINHUA) - The Chinese embassy in the United States said on Friday (June 26) that China firmly opposes the US wrongful decision to impose visa restrictions on Chinese officials over Hong Kong-related issues, urging Washington to stop interfering in China's internal affairs.

Hong Kong is part of China, and Hong Kong affairs are China's internal affairs that allow no external interference, a spokesperson of the Chinese embassy said in a statement.

"Legislating on national security is the power and obligation of the central government, and also an international practice," said the statement, adding that the Hong Kong national security legislation targets a very narrow category of acts that seriously jeopardise national security.

The legislation will improve Hong Kong's legal system, bring more stability to Hong Kong, and contribute to the practice of "One Country, Two Systems" and Hong Kong's long-term prosperity and stability, said the statement.

The statement said that the legal basis for the Chinese government to govern Hong Kong is China's Constitution and the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, not the Sino-British Joint Declaration.

As China resumed the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong in 1997, all rights and obligations of the British side as prescribed in the Joint Declaration were completed, the statement noted. "No one has any legal grounds or right to make irresponsible comments on Hong Kong affairs citing the Sino-British Joint Declaration."

"We urge the US side to immediately correct its mistakes, withdraw the decisions and stop interfering in China's domestic affairs. The Chinese side will continue to take strong measures to uphold national sovereignty, security and development interests," said the statement.

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