Foreign Ministry office hits out at poll criticism

The Foreign Ministry’s office in Hong Kong has strongly condemned international criticism of Sunday’s Legislative Council poll after the foreign ministers from several nations issued joint statements on the vote.

A spokesman for the Office of the Special Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hong Kong expressed strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition to overseas comments about Sunday’s election.

He said in a statement that the new electoral system would guarantee that the Legislative Council election would return to its original purpose of selecting talent to serve in the legislature so they could take actions that benefit the public, instead of politicising unnecessary disputes.

The spokesman said that governance by patriots was an internationally recognised ethic in politics.

He said politicians from the countries concerned had spoken of the National Security Law’s so-called “chilling effect” and used other cliches to create a panic and suggest everyone is at risk.

With specific reference to Britain, he said provisions of the Sino-British Joint Declaration relating to the UK have now been fulfilled, and the former colonial power no longer has any sovereignty, governance or supervisory power over Hong Kong.

The spokesman made the comments in response to a joint statement by the foreign ministers of Britain, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

The ministers said Beijing’s changes had “eliminated any meaningful political opposition” in Hong Kong’s legislature.

They also condemned what they said were “the wider chilling effect of the National Security Law and the growing restrictions on freedom of speech and freedom of assembly”.

In a separate statement, the foreign ministers of the G7 group of developed nations expressed “grave concern” over what they called “the erosion of democratic elements” in Hong Kong’s political system.

The ministers urged Beijing “to restore confidence in Hong Kong’s political institutions” and end what they called “the unwarranted oppression of those who promote democratic values and the defence of rights and freedoms”.