Hong Kong embattled leader Carrie Lam on Tuesday closed ranks with China and condemned the US Senate’s passage of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which she lambasted as unnecessary and unjustified.
During a press briefing, Lam said that the US legislation would have an impact on the city’s economic development by undermining confidence and creating an unstable environment for Hong Kong-based businesses.
“This is completely unnecessary and very regrettable,” Lam further said.
“For now, it undermines confidence; it creates an unstable environment”, she added.
Earlier on Monday, Lam described the HKHRDA as clear interference by Washington in Hong Kong’s internal affairs, echoing the stance of Beijing.
The Chief Executive also criticized the American law for suggesting that the rights of Hong Kong residents were being violated and stressed that they enjoyed the freedom of the press, religious liberty and freedom of assembly.
On Sunday, the city’s pro-democracy protesters came back to the streets for a series of marches and rallies after a rare period of calm in nearly six months of unrest.
Police had issued permits called “letters of no objection” for all three events, including a morning rally for children and seniors which went ahead without incident, and the post urged people to remain peaceful.
Earlier on Saturday, China accused UK human rights chief Michelle Bachelet of “inappropriate” interference in the country’s affairs after she called for investigations into alleged excessive use of force by police in Hong Kong.
In November, Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed a “high degree trust” in Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam after the two met in Shanghai months after the city has been shaken by protests that pitted locals against the police.
Earlier, the city’s embattled leader Carrie Lam had warned the United States not to “interfere” with her government’s response to the city’s pro-democracy movement after fresh protests called on Washington to ramp up pressure on Beijing.
Hong Kong’s protests started nearly six months ago in June against proposals to allow extradition to mainland China, a move many feared would undermine the city’s judicial independence and endanger dissidents.
In 2018, the Hong Kong government had disqualified the candidacy of another pro-democracy activist, Agnes Chow, for the Legislative Council by-election in March of the same year due to her stance on advocating self-determination for the former British colony.
The controversial China extradition bill was withdrawn in early September but the movement has morphed into a wider campaign for greater democracy and against alleged police brutality.
(With inputs from agency)