"End Oppression": G7 Nations To China On New Hong Kong Move

Senior Chinese officials have hit back at the US' responses to electoral reforms in Hong Kong, slamming them as groundless and illegitimate meddling in China's affairs, the Global Times reported on Friday.

"The U.K. now considers Beijing to be in a state of ongoing non-compliance with the Sino-British Joint Declaration", the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

China's rubber-stamp parliament this week voted unanimously - or at least 2895 in favour, with one abstention - to redraw Hong Kong's electoral processso that only "patriots" serve as elected officials.

"This depends on Hong Kong continuing to enjoy a high degree of autonomy and respecting the rule of law".

This is part of a pattern created to harass and stifle all voices critical of China's policies and is the third breach of the Joint Declaration in less than nine months.

The Chinese authorities' continued action means I must now report that the United Kingdom considers Beijing to be in a state of ongoing non-compliance with the Joint Declaration - a demonstration of the growing gulf between Beijing's promises and its actions.

The move is seen as another crackdown on the pro-democracy movement and an erosion of the autonomy guaranteed to Hong Kong when the United Kingdom handed it back to China in 1997.

The actions came after Hong Kong was rocked by massive and sometimes violent protests in 2019 against Beijing's encroachment on the financial hub's unique freedoms.

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Independent global observers have disputed the military's claim - saying no irregularities were observed. A witness said five of them were shot in the head. "No-one will be in peace until this situation ends".

Blinken also urged Hong Kong to go ahead with September elections, which the city's pro-Beijing leader Carrie Lam has hinted will be delayed again.

"We are looking for Beijing.to demonstrate that seriousness of goal, to demonstrate that it seeks to live up to its own oft-stated desire to change the tone of the bilateral relationship", he said.

"The National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China adopted today a decision that will have a significant impact on democratic accountability and political pluralism in Hong Kong", EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a statement on behalf of the 27-nation bloc.

The G7's top diplomats said they "call on China and the Hong Kong authorities to restore confidence in Hong Kong's political institutions and end the unwarranted oppression of those who promote democratic values".

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US State Department spokesman Ned Price called the changes "a direct attack on Hong Kong's autonomy, its freedoms and democratic processes".

China's National People's Congress on Thursday decided that only "patriots" - people loyal to the Chinese Communist Party - can govern Hong Kong.

Brussels has previously made a decision to limit exports of equipment that could be used for surveillance in Hong Kong and EU Foreign Ministers have discussed the possibility of broader sanctions if the situation worsens.

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