BEIJING, June 25 (Xinhua) -- China urges the United States to respect the facts, stop using various excuses to obstruct the law enforcement by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and refrain from shielding suspects, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Friday.
Spokesperson Zhao Lijian made the remarks at a daily news briefing in response to the U.S. statement on the closure of Apple Daily.
Hong Kong is a society under the rule of law where everyone is equal before the law, the spokesperson said, adding that no one has extra-legal privileges, and no institution is an extra-legal entity.
Zhao said the Hong Kong police act in strict accordance with the law against individuals and companies suspected of endangering national security and that it is a just move to combat crime and maintain the rule of law and social order.
"We firmly support the HKSAR government and the police in performing their duties in accordance with the law, and firmly support all efforts to maintain national security and the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong," Zhao said.
The law on safeguarding national security in the HKSAR focuses on cracking down on a handful of anti-China, destabilizing forces who seriously endanger national security, but it protects the rights and freedom enjoyed by the vast majority of Hong Kong residents in accordance with the law, including freedom of the press, he said.
Zhao pointed out that since the implementation of the national security law, social stability has been restored in Hong Kong, the rule of law and justice have been upheld, and the lawful rights and freedoms of Hong Kong residents and foreign citizens in the city are better protected in a safer environment, which is an undeniable fact.
Hong Kong is an inalienable part of China, and Hong Kong affairs are purely China's internal affairs, Zhao noted, adding that no organization or individual has the right to make irresponsible remarks.
"The United States should respect the facts, stop obstructing the law enforcement by the HKSAR and shielding suspects under various pretext, stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs in any way, and stop interfering in China's internal affairs," Zhao said.