Sat, 21 May 2022

Beijing [China], January 20 (ANI): The Western democracies, including the United States and the United Kingdom, have expressed concern over the election results in Hong Kong, where only one seat went to an opposition member in the 90 seat Legislative Council.

Writing in Washington Times, Jianli Yang, said the Legislative Council (LegCo) election in Hong Kong on December 19, 2021, was just a mockery of democracy. With only about 30 per cent of the voters in Hong Kong bothering to exercise their franchise in a sham called election, pro-Beijing candidates swept the polls, beating the moderates and independents, leaving only one seat to an opposition member in the 90 seat Legislative Council.

In Tibet, for instance, China has come up with a call to develop Buddhism with Chinese communist characteristics. And in Hong Kong, coinciding with the election to the Legislative Council (LegCo) in the specially administered island territory, Beijing wants to promote "democracy with Hong Kong characteristics," Yang said.

Yang further explained that in reality, this is turning the conventional idea of democracy upside down. This means denying the people of Hong Kong their right to nominate their preferred candidates and packing the LegCo with "patriots" who would only obey the diktats of the Communist Party of China.

The Western democracies -- among them Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States -- have expressed concern over the election results in Hong Kong, where, as a former British territory, the people are used to liberal democratic traditions.

The joint statement issued, issued on December 20 last year, by these countries, as released by the White House Press Secretary, stated: "We, the Foreign Ministers of Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom and the United States Secretary of State, noting the outcome of the Legislative Council elections in Hong Kong, express our grave concern over the erosion of democratic elements of the Special Administrative Region's electoral system" and over "actions that undermine Hong Kong's rights, freedoms and a high degree of autonomy."Yang further highlighted the joint statement which stated that since the handover of the administration from the British to the Chinese authorities, candidates with diverse political views have contested elections in Hong Kong.

"Yesterday's election has reversed this trend. The overhaul of Hong Kong's electoral system introduced earlier this year reduced the number of directly elected seats. It established a new vetting process to severely restrict the choice of candidates on the ballot paper. These changes eliminated any meaningful political opposition. Many of the city's opposition politicians remain in prison pending trial, with others in exile overseas," read the statement.

The stage for such a mockery of an election had been set earlier in 2021, with the National People's Congress of China imposing on the people of Hong Kong sweeping political reforms to deny them the right to elect candidates of their choice in the LegCo, Yang further said. (ANI)

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