The United States today condemned China’s “persistent attacks” against Hong Kong’s “democratic institutions” after the Chinese Parliament passed an electoral reform that will allow Beijing to veto candidates in the territory.
The reform is a direct attack on Hong Kong’s autonomy. […] Limits political participation, reduces democratic representation and stifles political debate and aims to challenge the clear will of the people of the territory and deprive them of having a say in governance “, said the spokesman of the American diplomacy, Ned Price.
The Chinese Parliament’s measure was also criticized by the United Kingdom, which today considered that the amendments make it possible to strengthen Beijing’s control over the former British colony and “empty” the democratic space in the territory.
In a statement, the head of British diplomacy, Dominic Raab, noted that legislative changes “will only further undermine confidence” about fulfilling China’s international responsibilities, “as well as legal obligations as a prominent member of the international community”.
“This is Beijing’s last step towards emptying ‘democratic space’ in Hong Kong, against promises made by China itself,” says the British Government’s short note.
The People’s Republic of China reported that the electoral reform to be applied to Hong Kong is aimed at “perfecting” the principle of autonomy that governs the territory with guarantees for the “patriots” who govern it.
Chinese Prime Minister Li Kegiang, after a meeting of the National People’s Assembly, said Beijing would continue to “fully apply the ‘one country, two systems’ principle that gives Hong Kong citizens a high degree of autonomy”.
The Chinese authorities presented a legislative plan that they called an “improvement of the Hong Kong electoral system”, but which is considered by the Democrats in the administrative region to be a “restriction” applied outside the pro-democracy movements.
The Hong Kong opposition sees the move as an obstacle with the intention of preventing Democrats from gaining a majority in the Legislative Council, the local parliament.
With 2,895 votes in favor, none against, and one abstention, the National People’s Assembly of the People’s Republic of China passed legislation that gives the pro-Beijing committee in Hong Kong the power to nominate more legislators in the city, reducing the number of representatives elected by the residents.
The final version of the text will be drafted by a committee of the National People’s Assembly and subsequently ratified by the Standing Committee of the legislative body.
The Chinese government has rejected criticism that it is undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy, promised for a period of 50 years when the sovereignty was transferred from the United Kingdom to China in 1997.
On the other hand, Beijing said the changes are necessary to “protect the stability of the territory, shaken in 2019 by the worst political crisis since the transfer of sovereignty”.