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New electoral system of Hong Kong an internal affair, says govt

By Zhang Yangfei | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2021-03-12 14:44

China's top legislature's decision on improving the electoral system of Hong Kong is purely an internal affair of China and no foreign country has the right to judge it, Zhang Xiaoming, deputy director of the State Council's Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office, said on Friday.

Zhang said at a news conference one day after the 13th National People's Congress adopted the decision during its fourth annual session that closed Thursday. It was followed by the condemnation from the US Department of State spokesperson Ned Price who said at a press briefing on Thursday that the move is an assault on democratic institutions in Hong Kong.

In response to the criticism, Zhang said the US politicians have no rights to point fingers at the electoral system of a special administrative region of China after all the chaos in the US presidential election, including the violent storming of the US Capitol in January.

Zhang said the US has very strict legal provision to prevent foreign interference in elections, including the recent passage of a bill to amend election laws by the House of Representatives of the US Congress.

"Why the US itself can make changes to election laws whenever it needs to but at the same time being so sensitive, neurotic and intrusive in the changes to the laws of a special administrative region in China?" he said.

During the riots in Hong Kong triggered by the extradition bill in 2019, the mob vandalized the city and stormed the Legislative Council of Hong Kong and the US politicians were gloating over the chaos. However, when protesters stormed the Capitol Hill, they quickly characterized it as domestic terrorism, Zhang said, adding that this demonstrated blatant double standards of the US side.

He noted that at the 46th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, which commenced on Feb 22, 70 countries signed a statement urging the parties concerned to stop interfering in the affairs of Hong Kong and of China.

"It fully demonstrates the unpopularity of hegemonic practices," he said.

Zhang said he and his colleagues of the office were all put on the so-called sanction list by the US government last year.

"Our countermeasures to such sanctions will certainly teach them a lesson," he added.

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