US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday urged free elections in Hong Kong after China said pro-democracy partiesâ€™ primaries may have breached a tough new security law.
â€œCongratulations to Hong Kongâ€™s pan-democrats for a successful primary. The Legislative Council election in September should be equally free and fair,â€ Pompeo wrote on Twitter.
In an accompanying statement, Pompeo said the participation of more than 600,000 Hong Kongers in the primary showed â€œtheir desire to make their voices heard in the face of the Chinese Communist Partyâ€™s efforts to suffocate the territoryâ€™s freedoms.â€
The Liaison Office, which represents Chinaâ€™s government in the semi-autonomous city, called the primary â€œa serious provocation against the current election system.â€
Pompeo in the statement voiced â€œgrave concernâ€ about the threat, saying it showed â€œthe Chinese Communist Partyâ€™s fear of democracy and its own peopleâ€™s free thinking.â€
China has imposed a law that criminalises subversion and other perceived offenses, sending a chill through the city that was promised a separate system before Britain handed back control in 1997.
Category: Hong Kong