Western allies condemn Hong Kong election over ‘erosion’ of democracy – POLITICO

The EU, the G7 and 5 Eyes leaders on Monday expressed their “grave concern” after Sunday’s Hong Kong’s Legislative Council Election (LegCo), the place pro-China candidates claimed an amazing victory marked by a historic low turnout.

“The European Union regrets this violation of democratic rules and political pluralism,” the EU’s high diplomat Josep Borrell mentioned in an announcement.

For the reason that 2020 National Security Law and Hong Kong electoral reforms handed in March, amid intense pro-democracy protests in opposition to the invoice, Hong Kong’s political system permits solely “patriots” — based on Beijing’s definition — to run for workplace and criminalizes dissent.

All 90 seats however one have been gained by pro-establishment candidates, based on the South China Morning Post. Solely 30 % of Hong Kong’s 4.4 million eligible voters cast their ballots, the bottom turnout since Britain handed Hong Kong over to China in 1997.

G7 international locations additionally raised issues in a statement to specific their “grave concern over the erosion of democratic parts” in Hong Kong. They added that the adjustments to the electoral system, which included the “discount of the quantity of immediately elected seats and institution of a brand new vetting course of to severely limit the selection of candidates on the poll paper, undermined Hong Kong’s excessive diploma of autonomy beneath the ‘One Nation, Two Programs’ precept.”

In a more assertive statement, the 5 Eyes international locations — the U.S., the U.Ok. and Canada, that are additionally within the G7, plus Australia and New Zealand — mentioned they have been “gravely involved on the wider chilling impact of the Nationwide Safety Regulation and the rising restrictions on freedom of speech and freedom of meeting.”

“We urge the Folks’s Republic of China to behave in accordance with its worldwide obligations to respect protected rights and elementary freedoms in Hong Kong,” they mentioned.

Underneath the “one nation, two techniques” precept, Hong Kong, one of China’s Particular Administrative Areas (SAR), can proceed to have its personal authorities system and profit from a excessive stage of autonomy. The EU and G7 leaders all maintain the place that the Nationwide Safety Regulation successfully places in jeopardy Hong Kong’s particular standing, and known as on China to abide by the precept and worldwide dedication to democratic illustration.

“The Central Authorities of China has firmly applied the precept of One Nation, Two Programs and the Primary Regulation, and supported the HKSAR in creating democracy in an orderly method in accordance with legislation,” said Chinese language International Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian on Monday, including the Hong Kong’s election “was held in a easy and orderly trend in accordance with legislation.”

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