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China urges U.S. to respect HKSAR gov't amending fugitive offenders law: FM

BEIJING, May 17 (Xinhua) -- China on Friday told the United States not to interfere in Hong Kong affairs and that law amendment in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) must be respected.

Hong Kong affairs are China's internal affairs, which should not be interfered by any other country, organization or individual, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said at a news briefing in Beijing.

Lu made the remarks in response to reports that U.S. State Secretary Mike Pompeo had expressed concerns about the proposed legislative amendments of Hong Kong's Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation.

"It is wrong to interfere in Hong Kong affairs in any form," Lu said, adding that any attempt to take advantage of this matter to incite and create chaos in Hong Kong will not succeed.

The HKSAR government has recently submitted the Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2019 to the Legislative Council (LegCo) for discussion. The bill proposed to enable Hong Kong to conduct case-based cooperation with jurisdictions that have no effective long-term arrangement with Hong Kong on juridical assistance in criminal matters.

Lu said the proposed law amendments are aimed at dealing with specific cases while filling loopholes in the legal system, in order to facilitate the handover of fugitive suspects and judicial assistance between HKSAR and other countries and regions.

The moves is conducive to jointly cracking down on crimes and maintaining the rule of law, and to preventing Hong Kong from becoming a safe haven for criminals, Lu said.

"The Chinese Central Government staunchly supports the HKSAR in amending relevant laws," he added.

[ Editor: Zhang Zhou ]