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G7 foreign ministers criticize appointment of new Hong Kong Chief Executive

Lee has been described as a hardliner appointed to enforce Hong Kong’s strict Security Law. (AFP)
Lee has been described as a hardliner appointed to enforce Hong Kong’s strict Security Law. (AFP)
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09 May 2022 08:05:46 GMT9
09 May 2022 08:05:46 GMT9

Arab News Japan

TOKYO: Japan has added its name to the list of G7 foreign ministers who are concerned over the selection of former police officer John Lee as Hong Kong’s new chief executive.

The G7 foreign ministers issued a statement on Monday expressing “grave concern over the selection process for the Chief Executive in Hong Kong as part of a continued assault on political pluralism and fundamental freedoms.”

Hong Kong’s Chief Executive has broad powers in the former British colony and Lee’s appointment is seen as a move by China’s government to exert its influence on the territory. Lee has been described as a hardliner appointed to enforce Hong Kong’s strict Security Law.

The G7 statement was brutal in its assessment of Lee’s appointment: “The current nomination process and resulting appointment are a stark departure from the aim of universal suffrage and further erode the ability of Hong Kongers to be legitimately represented. We are deeply concerned about this steady erosion of political and civil rights and Hong Kong’s autonomy. We continue to call on China to act in accordance with the Sino-British Joint Declaration and its other legal obligations. 

“Last year, PRC and Hong Kong authorities moved away from the ultimate aim of universal suffrage as set out in Hong Kong’s Basic Law by increasing the number of non-elected members appointed to the Election Committee and dramatically curtailing the number of voters eligible to participate in the Committee elections.”

The foreign ministers urged the new Chief Executive “to respect protected rights and freedoms in Hong Kong, as provided for in the Basic Law.” 

The statement was issued in the name of the foreign ministers of Japan, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and the High Representative of the European Union.

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