The U.S. Consul General in Hong Kong and Macau, Hanscom Smith, in his farewell speech on July 11, criticized the National Security Law implemented by Beijing, saying it has weakened Hong Kong’s autonomy.
Smith also pointed out that the vague definitions of the National Security law have created an atmosphere of fear in Hong Kong.
Smith urged the Chinese authorities to ease political pressure on Hong Kong and warned that implementing a “crude and chilling” National Security Law would threaten Hong Kong’s status as an international business center.
Smith said the National Security Law leads Hong Kong authorities to arrest and detain more than 100 activists, opposition figures, and ordinary citizens.
He added that the implementation of the National Security Law has made it impossible for Hong Kong citizens to be guaranteed a minimum fair trial.
In addition, Smith also commented on “patriots ruling Hong Kong.”
He said the changes to ensure that only “patriots” were chosen to run the city further undermined Hong Kong’s future.
The term “patriots” in Hong Kong refers to those who support the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). These people are also known as CCP patriots.
Smith criticized Beijing’s vague definitions of what patriots and loyalists are. They disqualify democratically elected district councilors and ignore the election results completely.
He concluded his speech by saying, “The United States will continue to stand with people in Hong Kong in support of the high degree of autonomy promised in the Joint Declaration and the original vision of “One Country, Two Systems” that served the city well for years.”