The Chinese authorities on Thursday urged the international community to refrain from any action that would “interfere” or “undermine” the Hong Kong election process scheduled for December 19th.
“Foreign forces who use every opportunity or excuse to interfere in the legislative council elections will take vigorous action by the Chinese government,” said Liu Guangyuan, Hong Kong Foreign Ministry commissioner.
In a seminar on the “nature of democracy”, Liu accused some Hong Kongers of being “bewitched” and “blinded” by American-style democracy: “They believe it is the solution to all social problems.”
He also pointed out that the summit for democracy was nothing more than an event to “distort the meaning of democracy and open political conflicts,” as the broadcaster RTHK reports.
The authorities have also condemned the United States’ invitation to the summit, former Hong Kong MP Nathan Law, which they believe can only have “diabolical political objectives”. “Isn’t it ironic that the fugitive Nathan Law is being treated like someone important at a democracy summit?”
Dozens of Hong Kong activists have called from abroad to boycott the elections, which they believe are “patriots only” under the new electoral law of the Chinese Special Administrative Region.
For example, they regret that the new law only allows direct voting of dozen of seats, although all candidates must first demonstrate their political loyalty and patriotism.
Most activists have been arrested or are no longer allowed to run for office. Now many of them are pleading for boycotting the process and asking residents not to go to the polls.
On Tuesday, Hong Kong’s Prime Minister Carrie Lam urged the people of the Chinese Special Administrative Region to take part in the elections. However, Lam has confirmed that there is no specific voter turnout target – an issue that observers believe is essential to support the legitimacy of the new parliament based on the elections.
According to the new regulations, only people who classify themselves as “true patriots” are allowed to stand for election. For opponents and critical voices, the new measure is intended to strengthen the power of the central government over the region and undermine the freedoms and rights of the people of Hong Kong.