MAC urges China to keep promise on Hong Kong democracy

2018/07/01 19:41:07 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Image taken from Pixabay

Image taken from Pixabay

Taipei, July 1 (CNA) China should stick to its "one country, two systems" policy and keep its promise by making Hong Kong an autonomous and democratic region, said the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) on Sunday, the 21st anniversary of the transfer of sovereignty over the territory from Britain to China.

It has become difficult for Hong Kong to maintain a self-ruling democratic system, as China is increasingly interfering in the civil and political rights of the Hong Kong people, including the right to assemble and the implementation of universal suffrage, according to the MAC.

The MAC also expressed concern over judicial independence in Hong Kong, pointing out that it is constantly being challenged by the Chinese authorities.

Citing an annual poll by Reporters Without Borders (RWF), the MAC said people in Hong Kong face restraints on press freedom, as seen by the territory's fall from 18th for press freedom in the world in 2002 to 70th in 2018.

Human rights are also worsening in Hong Kong, the MAC said, adding that personal freedom has deteriorated every year, as evidenced by the Human Freedom Index 2017, conducted by the Canadian-based Fraser Institute, with Hong Kong falling from 19th place in 2016 to 26th in 2017.

As a result, more people in Hong Kong have lost confidence that the territory can maintain the "one country, two systems" formula under Beijing's rule over the past two years, said the MAC in a press release.

Asked to choose whether they identify as "Hongkongers," "Chinese," "Chinese in Hong Kong" or "Hongkongers in China" only 0.3 percent of young people (ages 18-29) in Hong Kong identified as "Chinese," according to a survey published by the University of Hong Kong in December 2017, the lowest since the transfer of sovereignty in 1997, the release said.

The circumstances in Hong Kong are matters of concerns in Taiwan, because the nation has had close ties with Hong Kong for many years. For the stable and prosperous development of Hong Kong, Taiwan hopes Beijing will keep its original promise and respond to the demands for democracy and rule of law from Hong Kong residents, the MAC said.

(By Chia Sze-chia and Hsu Hsiao-ling)


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