Two Hong Kong political groups have hit out at Britain over a statement that said it wants a genuine choice for Hong Kong people to elect their leader but at the same time welcomes Beijing’s universal suffrage plan for the city.
Civic Party chairwoman Audrey Eu Yuet-mee said: “I am not sure if the United Kingdom will do the honourable thing.”
She was referring to what former Hong Kong governor Chris Patten wrote in the Financial Times, that “Britain is honour bound to speak up for Hong Kong democracy”.
In a letter to the British consulate-general, Eu said: “If speaking up means saying what the Foreign Office just did, it is far more honorable not to speak at all.”
The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office had said on its official website it is important that Hong Kong people have a genuine choice and a real stake in the outcome of the chief executive election through universal suffrage.
But it also said the UK “welcomes the confirmation that China’s objective is for the election of Hong Kong’s chief executive through universal suffrage”.
The UK’s position has always been that the details of the constitutional package are for the governments of Hong Kong and China and the people of Hong Kong to decide in line with the Basic Law, it said.
Hong Kong 2020, led by former chief secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang, said they are very disappointed with the words of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
It said in a statement that they prefer the British government to continue their silence rather than shamelessly echoing Chinese government remarks about bringing universal suffrage to Hong Kong.
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