India, March 5 -- A Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government spokesman today (March 4) expressed deep disappointment and serious dismay at the Heritage Foundation's decision to exclude Hong Kong from its 2021 Index of Economic Freedom.

"The decision is neither warranted nor justified. It does not do justice to the HKSAR, which topped the chart as the world's freest economy for 25 years out of the Index's 27-year history.

"We take strong exception to the Foundation's claim that Hong Kong's economic policies are 'ultimately controlled from Beijing'. This is ill-conceived and simply not true.

"The HKSAR enjoys a high degree of autonomy over its economic and trade policies as enshrined in our Basic Law.

"Hong Kong is and w...