CANZUK & USA Issue Joint-Statement On Hong Kong Elections

Ministers from Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, together with the USA, have issued a joint statement condemning China’s actions regarding free and fair elections in Hong Kong.

CANZUK Parliaments
The CANZUK countries have formally issued a joint statement condemning Chinese human rights infringements in Hong Kong
Written by James Skinner
 
James is the Founder & Chief Executive of CANZUK International in Toronto, Canada

                

The joint statement, issued on December 20th, addresses the serious concerns of the CANZUK countries, and the USA, of the outcome of the Legislative Council elections held in Hong Kong this week.

The overhaul of Hong Kong’s electoral system – introduced earlier this year by the Chinese Communist Party – reduced the number of directly elected seats and established a new vetting process to severely restrict the choice of candidates on the ballot paper for citizens. These changes eliminated any meaningful political opposition – a move which “undermines Hong Kong’s rights, freedoms and high degree of autonomy,” according to the statement.

The statement issued by the Ministers of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, along with the USA, is below:


Joint statement on Hong Kong

“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. Actions that undermine Hong Kong’s rights, freedoms and high degree of autonomy are threatening our shared wish to see Hong Kong succeed.

Since handover, 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 and established a new vetting process to severely restrict the choice of candidates on the ballot paper. These changes eliminated any meaningful political opposition. Meanwhile, many of the city’s opposition politicians – most notably the majority of the “NSL 47” – remain in prison pending trial, with others in exile overseas.

We also remain gravely concerned at the wider chilling effect of the National Security Law and the growing restrictions on freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, which are being felt across civil society. NGOs, trade unions and human rights organisations not supportive of the government’s agenda have been forced to disband or leave, while media freedoms are being curtailed at pace.

Protecting space for peaceful alternative views is the most effective way to ensure the stability and prosperity of Hong Kong. We urge the People’s Republic of China to act in accordance with its international obligations to respect protected rights and fundamental freedoms in Hong Kong, including those guaranteed under the Sino-British Joint Declaration.”


         
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