Chinese Embassy Refutes The Washington Post's Editorials on Hong Kong

The following is a letter from Mr. Geng Shuang, Spokesman of the Chinese Embassy in the US, responding to The Washington Post’s editorials on Hong Kong.

The Post’s recent editorials on the situation in Hong Kong [“The People’s party,” Sept. 30, and “Standing against repression,” Oct. 1] seemed to selectively ignore some facts.

The Post argues that the Chinese government did not honor its pledge to allow Hong Kong residents elect their leader by 2017. In truth, the decision by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee on August 31 makes it possible for the people of Hong Kong to vote directly for their chief executive on a “one person, one vote” basis for the first time in history. This represents a sharp contrast to the 156 years under the British rule when the people of Hong Kong were not allowed to choose their leader.

The editorials also argue that China introduced a Nominating Committee to change the rule and limit suffrage. Article 45 of the Basic Law says very clearly, “The method for selecting the Chief Executive shall be specified in the light of the actual situation in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and in accordance with the principle of gradual and orderly progress. The ultimate aim is the selection of the Chief Executive by universal suffrage upon nomination by a broadly representative nominating committee in accordance with democratic procedures.”

Each democracy is unique, and there is no standard form. The democracy in Hong Kong should conform to the stipulations of the Basic Law.

The editorials argue that Hong Kong’s reputation as a safe place to invest could be eroded because the residents cannot elect their own leader. The truth is it is the “Occupy Central” protest which blocked and paralyzed the city’s financial and government district, undermined the rule of law and disrupted the public order. No one can expect investment to keep flowing into Hong Kong if its basic rules are changed and public orders challenged.

Hong Kong is on a path to democracy, and the central government is committed to implementing all aspects of the Basic Law to make that happen.


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