HK officials condemn US sanctions; 72 Covid-19 cases confirmed

A man is seen relaxing on a bench in an outdoor area of a commercial building in the Central district of Hong Kong. - AFP

HONG KONG, Aug 9 (Xinhua): Senior officials of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government opposed and condemned on Sunday the so-called US sanctions against heads of Chinese government agencies responsible for Hong Kong affairs and officials of the HKSAR.

Chief Secretary for Administration of the HKSAR government Matthew Cheung said in his blog on Sunday that the HKSAR government will not be intimidated and will fully support the central government in taking countermeasures.

Hong Kong affairs are China's internal affairs and foreign interference will never be allowed, Cheung said.

His statements also came after Hong Kong is seeing lesser cases of Covid-19 after a third wave hit the country last week.

Hong Kong reported 72 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, of which 63 were locally transmitted, as authorities continued efforts to contain a resurgence of infections in the global financial hub over the past month.

More than 4,000 people have been infected in Hong Kong since January, 51 of whom have died. Sunday's figure was slightly up from Saturday's 69 cases.

Meanwhile, Cheung condemned the United States for disclosing the personal information of related officials, which not only infringed upon privacy and threatened personal safety but also violated international laws and basic norms governing international relations.

Financial Secretary of the HKSAR government Paul Chan said in an online article that the so-called sanctions exposed the hegemonic and bullying mindset of the United States and stressed that there is no room for compromise in safeguarding national security.

After suffering from prolonged violence and separatism last year, Hong Kong was able to stabilize quickly in recent months thanks to the national security law enacted by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, Chan said.

However, while claiming to respect human rights, democracy and freedom, the United States imposed the so-called sanctions on the pretext of the law and doxxed related officials by publishing their personal information, including identity numbers and addresses.

Chan dismissed concerns about the so-called sanctions and said with the solid support of the country, Hong Kong will be stronger and more competitive.

Under "one country, two systems," Hong Kong's advantages will certainly continue to remain and Hong Kong will make great progress in the process of joining the national development, Chan said.

Cheung, the chief secretary for administration, said Hong Kong's unique advantages are not a gift from western countries and the so-called sanctions will not contain Hong Kong's long-term prosperity.

As long as the Covid-19 epidemic is controlled, Hong Kong's society and economy will return normal and Hong Kong's future will still be full of opportunities, Cheung said. - Xinhua
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