Date
22 January 2017
The Canadian parliament (inset) receives a report from its foreign affairs committee urging Ottawa to support Hong Kong in its fight for democracy. Photos: Bloomberg, Parliament of Canada
The Canadian parliament (inset) receives a report from its foreign affairs committee urging Ottawa to support Hong Kong in its fight for democracy. Photos: Bloomberg, Parliament of Canada

Canadian lawmakers urge Ottawa to back HK democracy fight

Canadian lawmakers urged their government to support the Hong Kong people’s fight for “true democracy”.

In a report submitted to the Canadian parliament, the standing committee on foreign affairs and international development also called on Ottawa to reiterate its support for the Sino-British Joint Declaration, which guarantees the implementation of the “one country, two systems” principle following Hong Kong’s handover to Chinese sovereignty in 1997, RTHK reported.

It said the different parties in Hong Kong should communicate with each other and jointly improve the city’s governance.

The report came after the committee held a series of hearings with several Hong Kong pro-democracy activists in Ottawa in March amid objections from Beijing.

In one of those sessions, Hong Kong democracy campaigner Martin Lee urged the Canadian government to speak up for Hong Kong people who are fighting for true democracy in Hong Kong.

China’s Ambassador to Canada Luo Zhaohui had earlier written to committee chair Dean Allison and other Canadian officials voicing “deep concern and strong opposition” to the committee’s plan to conduct the hearing, according to Reuters.

“Hong Kong’s political development falls entirely within China’s domestic affairs,” Luo had written. “The Chinese side resolutely opposes any foreign governments, institutions and individuals to interfere in Hong Kong affairs.”

Canada-Hong Kong Link, an organization working to foster community involvement among Hong Kong-Canadians, said the report compiled by the parliamentary committee has included its suggestions.

It also came in time as Hong Kong lawmakers are set to vote this week on the Hong Kong government’s political reform proposal for the 2017 chief executive election.

During the hearings in March, Nathan Law, secretary general of the Hong Kong Federation of Students, and Alex Chow, former head of the student group, told the Canadian lawmakers about the violent dispersal of pro-democracy activists last year.

They called on the Canadian government to express its concern about Hong Kong’s worsening human rights situation.

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CH/JP/CG

EJ Insight intern reporter

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