Johnson said Thursday that the rule of law, an independent judiciary, and a free media have all been central to Hong Kong's success.
Foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang refuted these remarks on Friday, saying that Britain has no sovereignty over, no governance of, and no superintendence over Hong Kong since it returned to China in 1997. Lu's comments are plain truth.
Britain should not stir up debate about the Sino-British Joint Declaration. The Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) is in line with the gist of the Joint Declaration. But today what governs Hong Kong affairs is the Basic Law instead of the Sino-British Joint Declaration. If there is a need to interpret the Declaration, it requires both China and Britain to interpret it together. That would be a big diplomatic task. We don't think Beijing is obliged to play with London that way. The fact that Britain unilaterally made irresponsible remarks, citing the Joint Declaration which was signed in 1984, regarding Hong Kong affairs today has seriously damaged the tenet of the Declaration. London should immediately stop doing that.
We believe that the British government might know well that London has been incapable of exerting any influence on Hong Kong affairs. The hard reality is that all that the Western world can do today is to stir up public opinion about Hong Kong affairs. Generally speaking, very few Western governments have made noises to interfere with Hong Kong affairs in recent days. Reports in some Western media outlets are mostly written and run for the occasion. These reports on the "special topic" is hardly eye-catching in Western press, but are more like sloppy work done to report to higher authorities and fulfill one's duty.
"One country, two systems" is an original idea created by China for the return of Hong Kong. Whether it fits or not, only the Chinese citizens including Hong Kong people can tell. It is not created to satisfy the Westerners. Hong Kong is a politically diverse society and there must be some opposition forces, among which there must be a few extremists. Essentially, those few extremists are trivial to Hong Kong's institutions. But some Western forces are supporting those few extremists, fictitiously inflating their influence and thus complicating the matter.
The Hong Kong society should develop an ability to identify the situation in which the West is trying to exert influence on Hong Kong and remain undeceived by a few remarks by British and US officials as well as a few articles published in Western media outlets.
The Hong Kong people also need to think that to what extent the West really cares about the wellbeing of the Hong Kong society when they interfere with the region's political affairs.
The West has no need to be responsible for Hong Kong's interests. But the central government is different, as Beijing sees it as a responsibility of its own to help sustain Hong Kong's prosperity and stability. If Hong Kong is doing well, the whole country will be happy; if Hong Kong goes the wrong way, the whole country will be hurt. Britain and the US as well as the whole Western world can lend a hand in promoting employment and economic prosperity in Hong Kong, but will they really do that? They are only slick talkers.
Some Western people are not nice in the sense that they always want to provoke Hong Kong residents who are not familiar with the whole picture, especially young people. They will turn away after they succeed. They will not invest in Hong Kong's social welfare. They are only inciting people to disturb Hong Kong, as the more China feels troubled, the happier they are.
So Hong Kong residents should not allow themselves to be cheated by the words of the Western world, thinking that these words are for their good and will be followed by actions. China is already powerful and the return of Hong Kong is irreversible. Those Western people are just making irresponsible and sarcastic remarks, which do not deserve serious treatment.
The "one country, two systems" policy has been implemented for 20 years and is already a very stable political arrangement. All different understandings of the policy should be subjected to the central government's explanation, which is a right conferred on the central government by the Basic Law. Foreign forces and Hong Kong radicals claim that "two systems" have been destroyed while some mainland and Hong Kong residents feel that it is "one country" that is being challenged. To resolve the difference, only the central government can have the final word, leaving no room for the West to interfere.
July 1 is a joyful day for the Chinese people and we should not let a few noises spoil our good mood.