BEIJING (Dispatches) -- China will "resolutely guard against and deter” interference by external forces in Hong Kong’s affairs, Premier Li Keqiang said Friday.
Speaking at the opening of the annual session of China’s parliament, the National People’s Congress (NPC), Li said China will ensure the implementation of law and enforcement mechanisms to safeguard national security in Hong Kong.
China will improve the systems related to implementing the Constitution and Hong Kong’s Basic Law, Li added.
China’s parliament will also deliberate a decision to "improve” Hong Kong’s electoral system during this annual session, which will end on March 11.
The United States has sanctioned senior leaders of China’s parliament for passing the National Security Law for Hong Kong that gives law enforcement officers powers to counter "collusion with foreign forces” among other crimes.
Li reaffirmed China’s commitment to continue to "fully and faithfully” implement "One Country, Two Systems”, the model of governance promised to Hong Kong allowing some degree of autonomy when it was handed back to Beijing by Britain.
China will also resolutely deter any separatist activity in Taiwan but is committed to promoting the peaceful growth of relations across the Taiwan Strait, Li said.
Almost all countries around the world recognize China’s sovereignty over Taiwan, but Beijing is increasingly worried by "collusion” between Taipei and Washington, Taiwan’s main arms supplier.
Li said Beijing stands by the "one China” principle which declares that Taiwan is part of China. China, he said, remains committed "to promoting the peaceful growth of relations across the Taiwan Strait and China’s reunification”.
"We will promote exchanges, cooperation and integrated development across the Taiwan Strait. Together we can shape a bright future of rejuvenation for our great nation,” he said.
Li, however, stressed that China "will remain highly vigilant against and resolutely deter any separatist activity seeking Taiwan independence”.
Ignoring China’s sovereignty over Taiwan, Washington has removed some of the restrictions on official contacts with Taipei and stepped up arms and military support for Taiwan in recent years.
Chinese President Xi Jinping said Wednesday the United States is the "biggest threat” to his country’s development and security.