June 19, 2020 / 8:17 PM / 22 days ago

China hits back at U.N. rights chief on Hong Kong legislation

FILE PHOTO: High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet at the High-Level Segment of the 43rd session of the Human Rights Council, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland June 17, 2020. Martial Trezzini/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

GENEVA (Reuters) - China said on Friday that “improper” remarks by the United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet regarding the national security legislation proposed for Hong Kong “grossly interfere in China’s sovereignty and internal affairs”.

Earlier on Friday, Bachelet issued a statement saying that any new national security laws imposed on Hong Kong “must fully comply with China’s human rights obligations” and international treaties protecting civil and political freedoms.

Hours later, China’s mission to the U.N. in Geneva said in a statement: “These remarks grossly interfere in China’s sovereignty and internal affairs and violate the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, to which China expresses its strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition. Solemn representations have been made to the High Commissioner and her Office.” Legislation on national security “falls within the sovereignty of a State”, it added.

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Sandra Maler

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