The Chinese embassy in Canada has protested against the joint statement issued by Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK and the US, calling it an instance of interference in China’s domestic affairs.
On Sunday, the US State Secretary along with his counterparts from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom issued a statement condemning the new security law enacted by Hong Kong as an interference against the rights and freedom of the special administrative region of China. They also urged the authorities in Hong Kong to conduct elections as soon as possible and to let pro-democracy candidates to fight the election.
“On August 9, the foreign ministers of Canada and other countries made a statement, which once again contained irresponsible comments on the Hong Kong affairs and amounted to gross interference in China’s domestic affairs. China expresses its strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to this.”The Chinese embassy responded
The elections to the Hong Kong assembly were to be held on September 6. The Government postponed the election in late-July citing the risk of transmission of Coronavirus. Moreover, several pro-democracy candidates have been barred from participating in the elections as their views were not in-line to the new security law.
The government in Beijing enacted the law of June 30 after review by the Chinese National People’s Congress. It adjusts security policies in Hong Kong to safeguard Chinese interests and lays out rules for punishments in case of terrorism, subversion, separatism and collusion with foreign countries. The months of anti-government protests and criticism from Western powers comes from the fear that it could limit Hong Kong’s freedoms and rights, which Chinese mainlanders do not have.
Hong Kong became Chinese territory in 1997 after 99 years of British rule. Under the ‘one country, two systems’ rule, Hong Kong enjoys relatively more freedom than the mainland Chinese. The protests against the new law started almost a year ago and are still continuing. Though there have been some relaxations, the protestors want more.