More than 100 fishing boats parade at the Victoria Harbour to celebrate the 23rd anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the motherland in Hong Kong, south China, July 1, 2020. (Xinhua/Lo Ping Fai)

Hong Kong has given full play to its unique advantage as a global hub backed by the mainland since its return to the motherland.

BEIJING, July 3 (Xinhua) -- China welcomes foreign businesses including U.S. companies to continue operating in Hong Kong and wishes them greater success, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said Friday.

Zhao made the remarks at a press briefing when asked to comment on a statement of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, which said it remains "committed to Hong Kong as a home base for international business."

The chamber said it had worked with and supported the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government in the development of a world-class business hub incorporating the shared values of rule of law, free flow of information and connectivity across the globe.

Zhao said Hong Kong has given full play to its unique advantage as a global hub backed by the mainland since its return to the motherland.

Its status as an international financial, shipping and trading center has been consolidated and it has been known as one of the most free, open, prosperous and vibrant places in the world, Zhao said.

"For a while, anti-China forces seeking to disrupt Hong Kong engaged in mass illegal violent activities, vandalizing facilities and harassing residents. They seriously affected Hong Kong's law and order, threatened people's life and property, and jeopardized the normal operation of businesses from all countries," the spokesperson said.

Photo taken on June 12, 2019 shows roads after a riot in Admiralty area of Hong Kong, south China. (Xinhua)

He pointed out that the national security law in Hong Kong will provide a stronger institutional guarantee for the steady and sustained implementation of "one country, two systems."

The law will "help ensure Hong Kong's lasting security, stability and prosperity, safeguard residents' lawful rights and freedoms, and protect investors' rights and interests," he said.

"Looking forward, as China's reform and opening-up unleashes greater economic vitality and as Hong Kong grows closer ties of cooperation with the mainland and the rest of the world, Hong Kong will definitely enjoy an even better future and foreign businesses there will surely embrace brighter prospects," said Zhao.

"We also hope the American business community will work with all those supporting Hong Kong's development and prosperity to make sure this 'Pearl of the Orient' will shine with more brilliant luster," the spokesperson added. 

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