China attacks the UK over democracy in Hong Kong and claims that calls for reform under British rule have been ignored
- China has claimed that there is no “real democracy” in Hong Kong under the rule of the United Kingdom
- Beijing said calls for democratic reform were rejected under British rule
- Yesterday’s statement came just hours after the new elections in Hong Kong
China unleashed a stunning attack on Britain yesterday, claiming that there is no “real democracy” in Hong Kong under UK rule.
In a statement issued just hours after the new elections in Hong Kong – which critics condemned as a “sham” – Beijing said calls for democratic reform had been repeatedly rejected under British rule, and the UK restricted free speech while discriminating against Chinese. population.
Hong Kong’s last British governor, Lord Patten, dismissed the allegations as “false” and said China was carrying out “total and decisive” destruction of freedoms in the former British colony.
Members of the pro-Beijing Democratic Alliance for the Improvement of Hong Kong (DAB) party clap their hands during a press conference after winning 19 seats in the legislative elections in Hong Kong.
Last year, ahead of the 23rd anniversary of the city’s handover to China from British rule, Beijing passed a strict national security law aimed at suppressing dissent and advancing Chinese values.
As a result, pro-Beijing candidates scored a landslide victory in local elections this weekend, after a “national” scrutiny virtually eliminated most pro-democracy activists and other opposition figures.
Others have already been imprisoned, excluded, or fled abroad since China passed the security law.
Secretary of State Liz Truss joined other nations in expressing “grave concern” about the outcome, which came after a record low turnout of 30 percent.
Beijing blamed Covid and “anti-Chinese elements” for the dramatic drop in turnout. Some activists have called for a boycott of the vote, and the largest pro-democracy group, the Democratic Party, has fielded no candidates for the first time since 1997.
Only one of the 90 seats in the legislature, the city’s de facto parliament, was won by a candidate “with opposition leanings”.
Hours after the election results, Beijing released a government white paper on Hong Kong’s “democratic progress”, claiming that China had “designed, built, maintained and pushed forward Hong Kong’s democratic system”.
The country’s mouthpiece, Global Times, stated in the white paper that there was no “true democracy” under British rule and that the colonial government “maintained repressive rule in Hong Kong, tightly controlling the press and restricting freedom of expression”.
Secretary of State Liz Truss (pictured earlier this year) joined other countries to express “grave concern” about the outcome, which came after a record low turnout of 30 per cent.
Lord Patten, governor of Hong Kong for five years until its handover, said: “Every effort we made to introduce democracy was met with resistance from China at every step.
But we were developing democracies in Hong Kong. About half of the legislature was elected. We know that China is a liar, and we know that they go against their word.
They have comprehensively and forcefully destroyed freedom in Hong Kong, including the rule of law and freedom of expression.
“I fear for the future of Hong Kong and for the people of Hong Kong.”
Lord Patten said Sunday’s election was “shamefully disgraceful” and that the successful candidates were chosen by Beijing, not the electorate.
Over 300,000 people in Hong Kong hold British (Overseas) passports, granted to those permanent residents who were classified as British Dependent Territories nationals prior to the 1997 handover to China. About 89,000 applications are submitted to live and work in the UK under a new scheme created last year.