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Russia views amendments to Hong Kong law as China’s domestic affair — Lavrov

The Chinese authorities are going to consider plans of setting up special state security bodies in the Special Administrative Region

MOSCOW, May 26. /TASS/. The amendments to the law of Hong Kong are a domestic affair of the People’s Republic of China, while the United States’ attempts to stir up a scandal don’t make Washington a reliable dialogue partner on any other issues, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said after a video conference of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Collective Security Treaty Organization.

"The problems, which they are stirring up around Hong Kong, are related to China’s domestic affair, and we view them this way. I don’t think that the US attempts now to turn this problem into a scandal <...> add reliability to dialogue with the US on any other issues," Lavrov said, commenting on a statement by White House National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien that the US could slap sanctions on China and Hong Kong if Beijing moved ahead with a proposed national security law that could infringe on Hong Kong’s autonomy.

Lavrov said it was difficult to comment on the statements by US officials at the moment. "These statements are filled with a sense of superiority and a sense of impunity, including the self-appropriated right to rate everyone and put demands on everyone — demands that are related to satisfying US interests. <...> We have experienced this more than once, and, unfortunately, what the United States is saying now about China does not surprise us, although, in general, this is, of course, unprecedented," the Russian foreign minister explained.

Earlier, White House National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien said that apparently China sought to use the national security law to "basically take over Hong Kong." In this case, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo "will likely be unable to certify that Hong Kong maintains a high degree of autonomy, and if that happens there will be sanctions that will be imposed on Hong Kong and China."

Last week, a resolution on drafting a new bill on national security in Hong Kong was put forward at a session of the National People’s Congress in Beijing. The Chinese authorities will consider plans of setting up special state security bodies in the Special Administrative Region.

The Western nations and supporters of Hong Kong’s opposition viewed this idea as a violation of the "one country, two systems" principle and as a violation of the democratic rights and freedoms of the population of Hong Kong, which has been granted a high degree of autonomy until 2047. Beijing justified the importance of adopting this bill by the growing manifestation of separatism, terrorism and foreign meddling in Hong Kong, where a mass unrest sparked last year.