The Foreign Ministers of the G7 (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States) and the High Representative for Foreign Policy of the European Union, Josep Borrell, showed this Friday their “deep concern” by the decision of the Chinese authorities “erode the democratic elements” of Hong Kong’s electoral system. That decision indicates “clearly that the mainland Chinese authorities are determined to eliminate dissenting voices and opinions “in Hong Kong, said the heads of the G7 and European diplomacies in a joint statement published by the European External Action Service (EEAS).
In a previous statement, Borrell had denounced this Friday an “alarming” deterioration in the political and economic evolution of Hong Kong by virtue of the principle “one country, two systems” that is being “consciously” dismantled by China.
The electoral reform in Hong Kong, validated by the Chinese legislature this week, would eliminate the representation that the opposition had until now in the Electoral Committee and will also modify the method of election of the Legislative Council deputies, making it more difficult for opponents to obtain seats. The package of changes approved by the Chinese authorities, combined with “massive” arrests of pro-democracy activists and politicians, “undermines” Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy under the principle “One country, two systems”, affirmed the G7 ministers and the EU high representative in their joint statement.
The package also will repress political pluralism, contrary to the objective of moving towards universal suffrage, and the changes introduced will reduce freedom of expression, guaranteed in the Joint Sino-British Declaration of Hong Kong, adds the joint declaration of the G7 and the EU.
The signatories called on the Chinese and Hong Kong authorities to restore confidence in the political institutions of the former British colony and “end the unjustified oppression of those who promote democratic values and the defense of rights and freedoms.”
According to a report published today by the Community Executive on the situation in Hong Kong in 2020, the region is witnessing a “Serious erosion” of their autonomy, its democratic principles and fundamental freedoms that the Chinese authorities promised to protect until at least 2047. This rapid deterioration calls into question “China’s willingness to fulfill its international obligations” and its commitments to Hong Kong, the Commission warns. .
Regarding the relationship between Hong Kong and the EU, the report points out that, despite the pandemic, total bilateral trade in 2020 exceeded 27.4 billion euros, making Hong Kong the Union’s twelfth trading partner in Asia in that year. In addition, more than 60% of the foreign direct investment that enters and leaves China passes through Hong Kong, although it is noted that the LSN has had a “negative impact” on the business environment.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.