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China Accuses Top UN Human Rights Official of Violating UN Charter After Hong Kong Law Remarks

© REUTERS / Laurel ChorA pro-democracy protester waves a pro-independence banner during a protest at the New Town Plaza mall in Sha Tin in Hong Kong, China, 12 June 2020
A pro-democracy protester waves a pro-independence banner during a protest at the New Town Plaza mall in Sha Tin in Hong Kong, China, 12 June 2020 - Sputnik International
China's proposed Hong Kong legislation envisages a ban on attempts at separatism, subversion, terrorism and any actions that might threaten China's national security. The bill was opposed by the residents of Hong Kong, who see it as the restriction of their liberties.

China's mission to the UN in Geneva said in a statement that remarks made earlier by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Hong Kong legislation "grossly interfere in China's sovereignty and internal affairs", slamming them as "improper". 

"These remarks grossly interfere in China's sovereignty and internal affairs and violate the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, to which China expresses its strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition. Solemn representations have been made to the High Commissioner and her Office," China's statement said.

The Chinese mission went on to note that national security legislation "falls within the sovereignty of a state". 

Earlier on Friday, Bachelet had urged China to comply international obligations on human rights when imposing legislation affecting the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, prompting the PRC's response. She said that such bills should "only permit restrictions to human rights that are strictly necessary and proportionate". 

Her calls came amid the United States expressing expectations for China to review its policy on Hong Kong in the upcoming two weeks, as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reminded Friday that it was made clear that if the legislation is passed, Hong Kong may be treated as "just another piece of mainland China". During his speech, Pompeo also urged Beijing to play "on a Western rule set"

Hong Kong, a region that enjoys a special status as an autonomous region, saw the anti-sedition bill as an attempt to violate its liberties, sparking yet another round of protests that began in 2019. Beijing sees the civil unrest as a result of international interference; both Beijing and Hong Kong's leadership have assured the region's residents that the legislation would not affect their rights.

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