March 12, 2021 11:40:14 am
Condemning China’s continuing assault on democratic institutions in Hong Kong, US Secretary of State Tony Blinken on Thursday called on Beijing to uphold its international obligations and commitments and to act consistently with Hong Kong’s Basic Law.
The US condemns China’s continuing assault on democratic institutions in Hong Kong, he said.
The National People’s Congress decision early in the day to unilaterally change Hong Kong’s electoral system is a direct attack on autonomy promised to the people in Hong Kong under the Sino-British Joint Declaration, he said.
“These actions deny Hong Kongers a voice in their own governance by limiting political participation, reducing democratic representation, and stifling political debate. Beijing’s actions also run counter to the Basic Law’s clear acknowledgment that Hong Kong elections should progress towards universal suffrage,” Blinken said.
Blinken, in a statement, called on China to uphold its international obligations and commitments and to act consistently with Hong Kong’s Basic Law.
The Chinese attempt to label its crackdown on Hong Kong as an “internal matter” ignores the commitments Beijing made in the Sino-British Joint Declaration to uphold Hong Kong’s autonomy and enumerated rights and freedoms until at least 2047, he said.
Blinken called on China and Hong Kong authorities to allow the September 2021 Legislative Council elections to proceed and ensure that all candidates are included in a transparent and credible manner.
We also call on these authorities to release and drop charges against all individuals charged under the National Security Law and other laws merely for standing for elections or for their expressions of dissenting views, he said.
A stable, prosperous Hong Kong that respects human rights, freedoms, and pluralism serves the interests of Hong Kong, mainland China, and the broader international community.
“The United States stands united with our allies and partners in speaking out for the rights and freedoms of people in Hong Kong,” Blinken said.
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