Hong Kong residents vote in election designed so that ‘only patriots’ prevail
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On Tuesday, Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry, had powerful words when answering a state-owned China Radio International question. The broadcaster asked Mr Zhao if China had a comment regarding the statements released by a group of Western foreign ministers from the Five Eyes countries (US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand), the G7 and the EU.
Following last Sunday’s legislature vote in Hong Kong, the Western government officials shared their views regarding the alleged anti-democratic election process.
Only 30.2 percent of Hong Kong’s registered 4.2 million voters showed up to the poll, marking the lowest turnout in decades.
Before the vote, China, which is still backing the “One country, two systems” agreed on when the UK handed back Hong Kong in 1997, made massive changes to the election process.
For the first time, Hong Kong voters could only elect 20 spots, less than half of the positions previously available to be voted in by the public.
Another rule allowed Beijing to vet candidates.
In the end, 90% of the seats available went to pro-Chinese government candidates.
In a statement, the Five Eyes alliance said that the new policies “eliminated any meaningful political opposition”.
They added: “Meanwhile, many of the city’s opposition politicians – most notably the majority of the ‘NSL 47’ [referring to the city’s main opposition politicians who have been jailed under the National Security Law or NSL] – remain in prison pending trial, with others in exile overseas.”
Facing the accusation, Zhao Lijian said on Tuesday: “China expresses its firm rejection and strong condemnation to certain Western countries’ collusion, irresponsible remarks on the seventh-term LegCo election and democracy and the rule of law in HKSAR [Hong Kong Special Administrative Region], and the gross interference in China’s internal affairs.
“Certain Western countries should face up to the fact that Hong Kong has returned to the motherland for 24 years.
“They should abide by international law and basic norms governing international relations, stop all forms of meddling in Hong Kong’s affairs and interference in other internal affairs of China.
“Any attempt to undermine Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability is doomed to fail.”
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A spokesperson for China’s embassy in Australia also released a hostile statement regarding the rigged election accusations.
They blasted the Five Eyes nations for “reversing the truth” and attempting to “meddle in Hong Kong politics, interfere in China’s internal affairs and hinder China’s developments.”
Lord Patten, Hong Kong’s final British governor, said the election was “another Chinese nail in the coffin of Hong Kong freedom and system of government.”
He told The Telegraph: “We have to ask what they thought was the point of an election when they are locking up pro-democracy activists, including anybody who doesn’t accept the instructions of the Chinese Communist Party are the order of the day.
“This is typical behaviour of this nasty and brutish regime.
“One of the reasons why they did this is because pro-democracy activists did extremely well in the local elections, and Beijing was scared stiff.”
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