BEIJING: A Chinese central government spokesperson on Sunday expressed strong condemnation of and sent a stern warning against a smear on the mainland's assistance with the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR)'s fight against COVID-19.
Such a smear by Hong Kong-based anti-China troublemakers shows a gross disregard of Hong Kong residents' safety and health and is malicious, said a spokesperson for the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council in a statement.
The central government is paying close attention to the COVID-19 epidemic in Hong Kong, and has mobilized mainland health professionals to aid the battle against COVID-19 in Hong Kong, including helping build community-based treatment facilities and interim hospitals as well as bearing relevant expenses.
These measures have been welcomed by Hong Kong residents and more than 6,000 Hong Kong medical and nursing professionals so far have opted for joining the COVID-19 testing program, the spokesperson noted.
However, a very small number of people in Hong Kong, who harbor an ulterior motive, denigrated the mainland's help with Hong Kong's fight against COVID-19, harassed the advance team for nucleic acid testing sent by the central government, and even fabricated and circulated lies in an attempt to sow panic among the public, said the spokesperson.
By politicizing the central government's help with Hong Kong's COVID-19 fight, the anti-China elements laid bare their political nature and distorted mentality, trying to push their agendas "by all means, fair or foul, unscrupulously, and in disregard of laws," said the spokesperson.
In a stern warning to those elements with evil intentions, the spokesperson said acts advocating the so-called "Hong Kong independence" and of violence will continue to be dealt a heavy blow.
"We give full support to the SAR law enforcement agencies and judiciary authorities in meting out punishment on those fabricating and circulating rumors and obstructing the COVID-19 fight in accordance with the law," said the spokesperson.
The spokesperson also called for solidarity and concerted efforts of the SAR government and local communities to defeat the epidemic as soon as possible.