Recently, a few Liberian media have reproduced an article entitled “China’s Leaders Can’t Be Trusted” written by Chris Patten, the last British Governor in Hong Kong. This article makes irresponsible remarks about Hong Kong affairs, Xinjiang issues, and the South China Sea issues, distorts and discredits China’s achievements in fighting the COVID-19 epidemic, and makes malicious attacks on Chinese leaders and government. The Chinese Embassy in Liberia expressesits firm opposition to Patten’s absurd remarks.
Hong Kong is an inalienable part of China, and the Hong Kong issue was completely caused by British colonial aggression against China. In mid 19th century, the British government forced China through unequal treaties to cede Hong Kong to Britain in the form of “lease” after two Opium Wars launched by Britain against China in order to trade opium for Chinese goods. Hong Kong has never been given democracy under 150 year’s British colonial rule. During that period, none of the members of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong wasnominated by Hong Kong residents and elected through democratic procedures. All the governors were British citizens directly appointed by the British government.
In contrast, after Hong Kong’s return to China in 1997, Hong Kong has held six Legislative Council elections and successively producedfour chief executives of the Special Administrative Region (SAR) elected by Hong Kong residents. Isn’t Chris Patten ashamed and ridiculous to talk gliblynow about democracy and freedom in Hong Kong? Historically, British colonial rules all over the world have laid the bane of conflict, discord, and hatred, and also left a scourge for Hong Kong under the guise of “democracy”. Over the past 20 years or so since Hong Kong’s return to China, all the riots have been supported in one way or another by Britain with the excuse of so-called “democracy”. These instigation acts have led to the rampant”Hong Kong independence” in recent years, resulting in chaotic public order and constant violent conflicts in Hong Kong.
Especially since June 2019, the anti-China Hong Kong riotershave openly advocated “Hong Kong independence”.By conducting smashing, looting and burning, they have seriously trampled on the rule of law in Hong Kong, undermined Hong Kong’s stability, and endangered national security. Hong Kong residents earnestly hope to turn Hong Kong from danger to safety and chaos into governance. By safeguarding national security at the national level, China’s central government has established and improved Hong Kong’s legal system and enforcement mechanism, which is not only popular but also completely reasonable and legitimate. “One country” is the premise and foundation of “Two systems”.
Only when “One country” is safe can “Two systems” be guaranteed. Hong Kong’s National Security Law will not undermine Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy and the rights and freedoms of Hong Kong residents, nor will it change Hong Kong’s capitalist system or its legal system, nor will it affect the executive, legislative, independent judicial and final adjudication powers of the SAR. This law governs four kinds of crimes against Hong Kong:
splitting the country, subverting the state power, organizing and carrying out terrorist activities, and seeking to interfere in HK’s affairs by foreign and external forces. It punishes a very small number of criminals who seriously endanger national security. After the implementation of the National Security Law of Hong Kong, the law and order in Hong Kong have improved rapidly.This has provided a solid guarantee for the rights and freedoms of Hong Kong residents and strong support for the stability and far-reaching implementation of “One country, Two systems”. The central government of a country bears the greatest and ultimate Cresponsibility for the national security of all its local administrative regions, which is a basic theory and principle of national sovereignty and a normal practice of all countries in the world. It is typical double standard practice for Chris Patten to openly supportthe “Hong Kong-independent” elements and their violent crimes and wantonly attackHong Kong’s National Security Law.
Xinjiangrelated issues are not those of human rights, religions orethnics at all, but counter-violent terrorism and counter-secession issues. China is a country ruled by law, and respecting and safeguarding human rights is China’s constitutional principle. China’s efforts ofcounter-terrorism and de-radicalization in Xinjiang is an important part of the international counter-terrorism struggle, which fully conforms to the purposes and principles of the United Nations in combating terrorism and safeguarding basic human rights.
For certain period of time, Xinjiang region of China was deeply affected by the superposition of ethnic separatist forces, religious extremist forces and violent terrorist forces, and terrorist attacks frequently occurred. According to incomplete statistics, from 1990 to the end of 2016, these three forces created thousands of violent terrorist cases (events) in Xinjiang and other places, causing the killings of hundreds of innocent people and hundreds of police officers, and property losses beyond estimation.
They have caused great harm to the lives and property safety of people of all ethnic groups and social stability in Xinjiang, and seriously trampled on human dignity. In order to protect the basic human rights of the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang and safeguard national security, the Chinese government has taken decisive measures to carry out the fight against terrorism and extremism in conformity with law. While cracking down on violent terrorist crimes, it has focused on improving people’s livelihood, strengthening legal system publicity and education, and setting up vocational skills education and training centers, which has to the maximum extent saved those people who committed terrorism, extremist illegal or criminal acts.
These measures have won the support of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang.Since 2017, there have been no more terrorist attacks in Xinjiang for three consecutive years. The economy is prosperous and the society stable and harmonious. Chris Patten’s so-called “genocide” is nonsense. The Uygur population in Xinjiang increased from 5.55 million in 1978 to 12.71 million in 2018, which is obvious and not worth refuting. Since the end of 2018, more than 1,000 diplomats, officials of international organizations, journalists and religious figures from more than 90 countries have visited Xinjiang.
They have witnessed the harmonious and stable situation in Xinjiang, and maintain that the measures taken by the Chinese government to govern Xinjiang have contributed to the international community’s fight against terrorism and extremism, which is of a great reference value. Chris Patten completelyignores the large number of innocent casualties caused by the terrorism in Xinjiang, and turns a blind eye to the remarkable achievements in counter-terrorism and de-radicalization and human rights protection in Xinjiang, which only fully shows that he does not really care about China’s human rights, but wants to use the so-called “Xinjiang issue” to vilify China’s image, destroy China’s stability and curb China’s development.
On the South China Sea issue, China’s sovereignty over the South China Sea Islands and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea have been established in the long course of history, and are solidly grounded in history and law. As early as 1948, the Chinese government officially published the dotted line of the South China Sea, which was not questioned by any country for a long time.
China has never sought to establish a “maritime empire” in the South China Sea, always treated countries around the South China Sea equally, and always exercised the utmost restraint in safeguarding the sovereignty and rights and interests of the South China Sea. China’s construction activities on some islands and reefs in Nansha Islands are completely within the scope of China’s sovereignty, which is lawful, reasonable and rational, and does not affect or target any country. After the completion of the relevant constructions, the functions on the islands and reefs are multifaceted and comprehensive, which not only meet the necessary military defense needs but also serve various civil needs.
According to the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea reached by China and ASEAN countries in 2002, China has always been committed to resolving territorial and jurisdictional disputes through negotiations and consultations with directly related sovereign countries, and is committed to jointly maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea with ASEAN countries. China has always advocated that regional countries should establish mutual trust and resolve differences through formulating rules and mechanisms, and achieve mutual benefit and win-win results through pragmatic cooperation, and always respect the freedom of navigation and overflight enjoyed by countries in accordance with international law.
China adheres to the path of peaceful development, always pursues a defensive national defense policy, and adheres to the foreign policy ofdevelopinggood-neighbourly relationship andpartnership with neighboring countries, which is a firm force for maintaining regional peace and stability. On the contrary, out of geopolitical needs, the United States keeps making troubles in the South China Sea andsows discord.By sending advanced ships and planes, the US shows off its power, promotes the militarization of the South China Sea, practices the logic of power and bullying, and has become a peace and stability spoiler in the region. Chris Patten turns a blind eye to the military provocation of the United States while makes irresponsible remarks about China’s legitimate measures, which clearly reveals his evil intentions.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, China has curbed the spread of the epidemic in a relatively short period of time and achieved great strategic achievements in the prevention and control of the epidemic in China. This is fundamentally due to the leadership of the Communist Party of China(CPC). The CPC has a strong leadership core and a people-centered ruling philosophy. Facing the epidemic crisis, it has speedily and scientifically made decisions, implemented efficient and powerful crisis responses, made decisive options between people’s lives and economic interests.
The CPC insists on life first, saves lives at all costs, and cares for overseas Chinese citizens. Facts irrefutably prove that the CPC and the Chinese government have always been firmly responsible for the people and life, which has won the heartfelt support of the Chinese people. According to the latest international survey of Harvard University, Chinese people’s satisfaction with the CPC is over 90%.
At the same time, as a responsible major country, China has always adhered to the concept of Community with a Shared Future for Mankind and has proactively fulfilled its international obligations in an open, transparent and responsible manner.China lost no time to notify the World Health Organization(WHO), relevant countries and regional organizations including Africa of the epidemic information. At the first time, China shared the gene sequence of COVID-19, published the diagnosis and treatment plan as well as prevention and control plan, and shared the prevention and treatment experience with all parties without reservation. China has tried its best to provide assistance to the international community under the great pressure of its own epidemic prevention and control.
China jointly held with African countriesthe Extraordinary China-Africa Summit On Solidarity Against COVID-19, aided the AU CDC, and provided the African Union and African countries with short-supplied anti-epidemic materials in a timely manner through various channels. Meanwhile, China has shared anti-epidemic experience with Africa, and dispatched medical experts to deepen China-Africa cooperation in the field of public health. Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 in Liberia, the Chinese government has aided three batches of epidemic prevention materials, and civil society organizations such as Alibaba Foundation, Chinese-funded enterprises and overseas Chinese in Liberia have donated medical masks, hand sanitizers, disinfectants and other PPE items to Liberia on many occasions, contributing to the fight against the COVID-19.
China is a victim of virus and a contributor to global anti-epidemic efforts, and it should be treated fairly rather than blamed. Coronavirus is the common enemy of all mankind. What is more terrible than virus is defaming and rumors spread by people with ulterior motivation. These political viruses are also common enemies of all mankind. We resolutely oppose Chris Patten’s politicization of the epidemic by stigmatizing China.
The public will judge the rights and wrongs. We believe that the international community will not be easily fooled by lies and rumors, and welcome friends from all countries including Liberia to go to China and find facts with your own eyes . We trust that all lies and rumors will not hold water and cannot stand refuting before hard facts.