The Jan. 7 editorial “China’s big sweep in Hong Kong” was wide of the mark.

The Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region stipulates that the rights and freedoms enjoyed by residents under the Basic Law and the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights as applied to Hong Kong shall be protected.

Those arrested on Jan. 6 are suspected to have committed the offense of subversion. They were suspected to have conspired to obtain 35 or more seats in the Legislative Council through their “35-plus” and “10-step mutual destruction plan,” and conducting “primaries” among themselves in July, with a view to recklessly and blindly vetoing the government budget and public funding applications, forcing the resignation of the chief executive. The plan aimed to paralyze the government and, coupled with massive riots and other measures, bring society to a complete standstill.

We reject any suggestion that people with certain political backgrounds should be immune from legal action if they commit unlawful acts. Hong Kong fully enjoys the rule of law and judicial independence. These core values have always been, and will remain, jealously guarded.

Matthew Cheung Kin-chung,
Hong Kong

The writer is chief secretary for
administration for the Hong Kong Special
Administrative Region Government