China has lambasted an anti-Beijing resolution passed by the European Parliament concerning Hong Kong as a "despicable act," saying the measure "trampled" on the principles of international law.
The resolution was passed overwhelmingly by the legislature on Thursday. It urged the city's authorities to release and drop charges against Jimmy Lai, a UK citizen, whom Beijing suspects of collusion with foreign forces.
It also called for the European Council to introduce "targeted sanctions" against Hong Kong's top civil servant, John Lee, and other officials, accusing them of, what it called, violating human rights.
Politicians at the European Parliament "do not take the national economy and people's livelihood as their own responsibility, but instead use the Hong Kong issue as a publicity stunt under the guise of 'human rights,' 'democracy,' and 'freedom,'" the Chinese foreign ministry's commissioner office in Hong Kong said in a statement.
"The political drama of a few foreign politicians will not shake the firm determination...to govern Hong Kong according to the law and punish crimes," it said, adding that the parliament was "covering up and beautifying criminals."
The European Parliament alleged in the resolution that "fundamental freedoms, the rule of law, and the judiciary's independence have alarmingly deteriorated in Hong Kong" since Beijing's implementation of the National Security Law for Hong Kong.
The law was enacted in July 2020. It triggered anti-government protests in Hong Kong, with critics calling the measure a blow to the semi-autonomous region’s powers and civil liberties.
Beijing has assured, though, that the legislation targeted a minority of troublemakers that disregard law and order in the Chinese financial hub.
The United States, Britain, and other Western countries have openly slammed the Chinese law and voiced support for anti-government protesters in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong has been governed under the “one-country, two-system” model since the city -- a former British colony -- was returned to China in 1997.
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