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Jan retail sales up 0.9%

The value of total retail sales in January, provisionally estimated at $36.5 billion, rose 0.9% compared with the same month in 2023, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.   After netting out the effect of price changes over the same period, the provisional estimate represents a 1.2% year-on-year decrease.   Of the total retail sales value in January, online sales accounted for 6.5%. Provisionally estimated at $2.4 billion, the value of this segment went down by 20.9% compared with a year earlier.   Noting that retail sales tend to show greater volatility in the first two months of a year due to the timing of the Lunar New Year, the department said the year-on-year comparison of the figures might have been affected to a certain extent.   The value of sales of jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts increased 25.2% compared with January 2023.   Increases were also recorded in the sales of other consumer goods not elsewhere classified (up 7

European resolution biased

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government today strongly objected to the European Parliament's resolution yesterday relating to Hong Kong, saying the resolution is biased, politically motivated and does not reflect the truth.   In a statement, the Hong Kong SAR Government pointed out that contrary to politically-motivated rhetoric that the National Security Law undermines the "one country, two systems" framework, the National Security Law fully and faithfully implements the principles of "one country, two systems", "Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong" and a high degree of autonomy.   It added that the National Security Law is in no violation of the Sino-British Joint Declaration, which stipulated the resumption of the exercise of sovereignty by China over Hong Kong and relevant arrangements during the transition period.   The statement pointed out that the basic policies regarding Hong Kong declared by China in the Joint Declaration were China's statement of policies, not commitment to the United Kingdom or an international obligation as some claim.   With the resumption of the exercise of sovereignty by China over Hong Kong and the completion of follow-up matters, all UK-related provisions have been fulfilled.   The international community should fully acknowledge this fact and stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs which are internal affairs of China.   The statement noted that the Hong Kong SAR Government is appalled by the call contained in the resolution that suspects arrested by law enforcement agencies in the Hong Kong SAR, some already convicted by independent courts, should be immediately released, apparently suggesting that people with certain political beliefs should be immune to legal sanctions.   The Hong Kong SAR Government emphasised that the rule of law in Hong Kong has a strong basis and nobody is above the law.   Anybody who contravenes the law will have to face justice, regardless of who or where they are as long as the offence falls within Hong Kong's jurisdiction.   It reiterated that the Hong Kong SAR Government will not tolerate any offence of subversion. Those who organised, planned, committed or participated in subversion would be pursued for their criminal act in accordance with the National Security Law.   The statement also said that the Hong Kong SAR Government officers are discharging an honourable duty to prevent, stop and punish in accordance with the law acts and activities endangering national security.   Hong Kong officials' determination in safeguarding national security will not be affected in any way by any so-called sanctions.  
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