Australian governments are”beautifying” acts which endanger national safety in Hong Kong when they criticize the recent crackdown on a pro-democracy paper, the chief of the semiautonomous Chinese territory said Tuesday.

Those arrested in the paper have been accused of violating sweeping safety legislation imposed by Beijing last year by colluding with foreign countries to endanger national security.

“Do not attempt to underplay the significance of breaching the National Security Law, and don’t try to decorate those acts of undermining national security, which the foreign authorities have taken much to their heart,” Lam said.

Lam took special aim at remarks made by U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price saying Hong Kong police were using the law to curb the media and silence dissent. Price reported that”exchanging viewpoints with foreigners in journalism should never be a crime.”

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“What we’re speaking about is not exchanging views between journalists and thieves,” Lam said. “It’s violating the law as defined in the National Security Law and according to very clear evidence which will bring the case to court.”