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Britain, don’t interfere in Hong Kong’s internal affairs

Updated: 2013-09-18 11:10
By Sun Lin (

Hugo Swire, British Foreign Office minister of State, wrote in Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post on Saturday that Hong Kong's progress toward universal suffrage was "vital to its future stability," and Britain stands ready to lend support in any way it can.

The remark is a bit ridiculous. What kind of “support” does Britain want to offer as Hong Kong is no longer a colony of Britain? If universal suffrage is such a “vital” thing, why didn’t Britain grant Hong Kong people that right during British rule? We all know that when Hong Kong was a colony, its people were not allowed to pick their own leaders and the governor was sent from London. So, why does the British government care about Hong Kong’s democratic process so enthusiastically now?

Looking back in history, we can see that after Hong Kong returned to China in 1997 , Britain has made painstaking efforts to safeguard and continue its colonial interests. One of the tactics is to take advantage of Hong Kong’s introduction to representative government by cultivating a pro-British faction that will form its own political party – one that dreams its members will be elected in 2017, when universal suffrage is expected in the election of the chief executive.

The government of Hong Kong and the central government have made great efforts to promote political improvements since Hong Kong was handed over to China 16 years ago. More legislators have been elected through direct elections and universal suffrage is promised in the Basic Law. The democratic process is designed to benefit Hong Kong people and Hong Kong’s prosperity, not for the interests of Britain.

Be vigilant of Britain’s intention to interfere in Hong Kong's internal affairs. Like Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has responded, it has nothing to do with the British or any foreign government. Fforeign intervention could backfire in the process of overhauling the electoral system.