MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Hong Kong government has decried the White House’s decision to delay the forced deportation of Hong Kong residents from the United States for 18 months, saying on Friday that the move “smears” the city’s National Security Law for political reasons.
“The US has prolific laws on national security but chooses to smear the Hong Kong National Security Law out of political motivation. This is clear hypocrisy and demonstrates double standards”, the Hong Kong government said in a statement.
The city’s government also expressed “strong opposition” to the latest actions from the Biden administration, the statement added.
On Thursday, the White House introduced the “Memorandum on the Deferred Enforced Departure for Certain Hong Kong Residents,” which would defer the removal of certain Hong Kong residents from the United States for 18 months.
© AP Photo / Vincent Thian
Protester holds U.S. flags during a demonstration in Hong Kong, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2019
The office of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Commissioner in Hong Kong issued a similar statement condemning the new “memorandum” from the United States.
“The US side ignored basic facts and the mainstream public opinion in Hong Kong while making up lies to smear the Hong Kong National Security Law. [They] tried to whitewash the anti-China disruptors from Hong Kong and offered the so-called ‘safe haven’ to them under pretence. This aims to stigmatize Hong Kong and smear China while hurting the prosperity and stability in Hong Kong. This kind of theatrics fully revealed their sinister intentions to curb China’s development by playing the ‘Hong Kong card'”, the commissioner’s office said in a statement on Friday.
The commissioner expressed stern opposition and strong condemnation of the memorandum in the statement.
In response to the mass pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong that lasted over six months in 2019, China introduced the controversial Hong Kong National Security Law, which Beijing believed to be necessary to restore social orders in the city.
However, human rights advocates argued that the new National Security Law eroded the city’s civil liberties further and led to the imprisonment of a number of prominent activists in Hong Kong.
Former student protests leader and activist Joshua Wong was among the 47 people charged under the national security law in April. Wong was sentenced to four months in prison for taking part in an unauthorized assembly in 2019. The sentence would extend his 13.5-month sentence he was serving for organising an illegal assembly.
© Sputnik / Tommy Yang
Police officers prepare for protests in Hong Kong
After the introduction of the new National Security Law, a number of well-known Hong Kong activists have decided to flee the city to other countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, over fears of prosecution.
The Hong Kong Democracy Council, a US-based rights group, said in January that five Hong Kong protesters arrived in the United States to seek political asylum.