Chinese newspaper accuses United States of backing Hong Kong separatists

Jeffie Lam | 26 June 2014 | South China Morning Post

Washington and Beijing have crossed swords again over political reform in Hong Kong after a Communist Party mouthpiece accused the United States of taking advantage of the issue to push for the city’s independence.

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State Department Daily Press Briefing

25 June 2014 | State Department Daily Press Briefing

HARF: On Hong Kong?

QUESTION: On Hong Kong, yeah. Could you just —

HARF: Yes. Let me see what I have. Okay. So you asked a couple, and let me see if I answer them. And if I don’t, please follow up. That we, in terms of elections, support Hong Kong’s well-established traditions and basic law protections of internationally recognized fundamental freedoms, such as, of course, freedom of peaceful assembly and expression. The details of the election process for the chief executive in 2017 have yet to be worked out, is my understanding. But we do believe that the legitimacy of the chief executive will be greatly enhanced if the promise of universal suffrage is fulfilled and if the election provides the people of Hong Kong a genuine choice of candidates representative of the voters’ will.

So I know there’s still some details that need to be worked out, but in general, that’s still our position. Of course, our longstanding policy – and I think this was part of your first question yesterday – is supportive of the principle of one country, two systems, and the high degree of autonomy maintained by the basic law, that that, of course, has not changed, and I think that – maybe that answered all of your questions.

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State Department Speaks in Support Universal Suffrage in Hong Kong

Matthew Robertson | 24 June 2014 | Epoch Times

The U.S. State Department made a statement recently in favor of democratic progress in Hong Kong, where activists are pushing for universal suffrage—the principle of one person, one vote—and planning to occupy parts of the city’s financial district if Beijing continues its efforts to stifle democracy there.

“We support Hong Kong’s well-established traditions and Basic Law protections of internationally recognized fundamental freedoms, such as freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression,” said a statement by a State Department official, sent by email on June 24.

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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown: The future of freedom and democracy in Hong Kong is under serious threat

James Pomfret | 7 April 2014 | Reuters

“The future of freedom and democracy in Hong Kong is under serious threat,” U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, head of the U.S. Congressional Commission that advocates improved human rights and the rule of law in China, said in a statement.

 

“China is already placing “pre-conditions” on who can run (in 2017), raising serious doubts about whether the elections will be free and fair,” he added, during the session.

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China warns U.S. not to meddle in Hong Kong over democratic reform

James Pomfret | 7 April 2014 | Reuters

China has cautioned the United States not to interfere in Hong Kong affairs after Vice President Joseph Biden met two prominent pro-democracy advocates who have warned of Beijing’s tightening control of the territory, state news agency Xinhua said.

A former British colony that reverted to Chinese rule in 1997, Hong Kong enjoys considerable autonomy and broad freedoms as a capitalist hub.

But it has been locked in a lengthy battle with Beijing’s leaders to push through reforms that could culminate in a direct election of its leader in 2017.

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Joe Biden underscored long-standing support for democracy in Hong Kong

4 April 2014 | The White House – Office of the Vice President

Readout of the Vice President’s Meeting with Hong Kong Pro-Democracy Advocates

Vice President Biden dropped by a meeting today at the White House with two of Hong Kong’s leading pro-democracy advocates, former Legislative Council member Martin Lee and former Chief Secretary Anson Chan. The Vice President underscored our long-standing support for democracy in Hong Kong and for the city’s high degree of autonomy under the “one country, two systems” framework.

Link

Congressional-Executive Commission on China: Prospects for Democracy and Press Freedom in Hong Kong

3 April 2014 | Congressional-Executive Commission on China

Under China’s “one country, two systems” policy, Hong Kong residents enjoy greater freedom and autonomy than people in mainland China, including freedoms of speech, press, and religion. China has stated it intends to allow Hong Kong residents to elect their Chief Executive by universal suffrage for the first time in 2017 and to elect Hong Kong’s Legislative Council by universal suffrage in 2020. As Hong Kong’s government contemplates electoral reform in the run-up to the 2017 election, concerns are growing that China’s central government will attempt to control the election by allowing only pro-Beijing candidates to run for Chief Executive. Concerns over press freedom have also grown in the wake of several incidents in which journalists have been violently attacked or fired.

The roundtable featured two prominent advocates for Hong Kong democracy, Martin Lee and Anson Chan, who examined the prospects for Hong Kong’s democratic development.

Link

United States Department of State: 2013 Human Rights Reports: China (includes Tibet, Hong Kong, and Macau) – Hong Kong

27 February 2014 | United States Department of State: Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor

The most important human rights problems reported were the limited ability of citizens to participate in and change their government, reports of arbitrary arrest or detention and other aggressive police tactics hampering the freedom of assembly, and a legislature with limited powers in which certain sectors of society wielded disproportionate political influence.

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Congressional-Executive Commission on China: Annual Report 2013: Developments in Hong Kong and Macau

10 October 2013 | Congressional-Executive Commission on China

“Public demand grew for a more specific plan for election of Hong Kong’s Chief Executive (CE) through universal suffrage, which is set to occur in 2017. In July 2013, Hong Kong’s current CE, CY Leung, dismissed calls for early public consultation on electoral reform.”

“Concerns also grew over central government interference in the nomination of CE candidates in elections by universal suffrage, with statements from mainland Chinese officials ruling out a nominating process involving the broader voting public and stating that candidates would be required to be trusted by the central government.”

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