Carrie Lam decries US interference in Hong Kong affairs, hopes for ‘return to normalcy’ regardless if Biden or Trump next president

Cheryl Heng
·3-min read

Hong Kong’s leader on Friday condemned the United States’ repeated interference in city affairs, calling for a “return to normalcy” regardless of who emerges victorious in the ongoing US presidential election.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor also criticised the US for its “unreasonable” move to suspend certain bilateral agreements while speaking at a press briefing in Beijing – part of her current tour of mainland government agencies.

“For the past year or so, the American administration and officials have been repeatedly interfering with the internal affairs of the People’s Republic of China and the internal affairs of Hong Kong. That is totally unreasonable and cannot be justified in international relations,” Lam said.

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Whether Donald Trump (left) or Joe Biden is the next US president, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam says she hopes for a ‘return to normalcy’ in relations. Photo: AFP
Whether Donald Trump (left) or Joe Biden is the next US president, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam says she hopes for a ‘return to normalcy’ in relations. Photo: AFP

“Worse still, they have chosen to unilaterally suspend some bilateral agreements. They have unreasonably imposed sanctions on government officials, including myself,” she added.

Lam was referring to US President Donald Trump’s decision earlier this year to remove the city’s special trading status and slap sanctions on Hong Kong officials, including the chief executive. It came in response to Beijing’s imposition of a sweeping national security law on the city in late June.

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Washington has also demanded city-produced exports be labelled “Made in China” from next Monday, sparking a row the Hong Kong government has taken to the World Trade Organization for resolution.

The chief executive emphasised that Hong Kong shares a strong relationship with the US, considering the large number of US companies and more than 80,000 Americans living and working in the city.

Regardless of the election results – be it Trump or Democratic challenger Joe Biden – Lam said she hoped for the “solid and mutually respectful relationship” between the US and Hong Kong to continue.

The United States’ insistence that Hong Kong-produced goods be labelled ‘Made in China’ is being challenged by the city at the World Trade Organization. Photo: Nora Tam
The United States’ insistence that Hong Kong-produced goods be labelled ‘Made in China’ is being challenged by the city at the World Trade Organization. Photo: Nora Tam

“I don’t want to get myself involved in American politics. To whatever administration in the United States, I would like to make this appeal – that every country, every government should respect the jurisdiction of other countries and other territories,” she said.

Lam’s comments followed her meeting with Vice-Premier Han Zheng on Friday morning.

Before Lam entered the meeting room, Han and Beijing officials, including Zhang Xiaoming, deputy director of the State Council’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, were heard chatting about Trump and the possibility of court cases in the US over the presidential election.

In a press briefing on Friday, Lam was asked if she discussed with Han how the presidential election would affect Hong Kong.

The imposition by Beijing of a national security law on Hong Kong brought swift punitive action by the United States in the form of sanctions. Photo: Felix Wong
The imposition by Beijing of a national security law on Hong Kong brought swift punitive action by the United States in the form of sanctions. Photo: Felix Wong

“No, we did not discuss that. We’re more concerned about how Hong Kong can integrate into the nation’s development plans,” she answered.

Lam was expected to travel to Guangzhou later in the day to meet the leaders of Guangdong province and Shenzhen on Saturday.

The chief executive led a delegation of senior officials to Beijing on Tuesday to discuss economic recovery policies for the city with mainland ministries. Her trip to the capital concluded with Friday morning’s sit-down with Han, the state leader in charge of Hong Kong affairs.

Details of the trip would be revealed during her annual policy address scheduled for the end of this month, Lam said.

This article Carrie Lam decries US interference in Hong Kong affairs, hopes for ‘return to normalcy’ regardless if Biden or Trump next president first appeared on South China Morning Post

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