China’s foreign minister Wang Yi said on Sunday that Hong Kong’s electoral system should be “reformed” for its stability in the future, adding that the reform announced by Beijing “opens up a bright future” for the region’s autonomy .
China’s plan to reform Hong Kong’s electoral system was revealed on Friday during the annual meeting of the National People’s Congress and would strengthen Beijing’s control over the pro-democratic wing.
At his annual press conference in the Chinese Parliament, Wang said that there was no democracy in Hong Kong in the colonial era and said that the reforms would benefit the region.
“The transition from Hong Kong to the stability of the government is in the interests of all parties,” Wang said.
A year ago, China implemented a very restrictive new security law on Hong Kong’s freedom of expression and political participation, arguing that it was necessary to end months of protests – in some cases violent – against the local executive.
On Friday, China announced that it would show candidates for Hong Kong’s parliament, saying only “patriots” could lead the region’s destiny.
“Hong Kong and patriotic love are exactly the same thing,” Wang said, adding that changes in the electoral system are constitutional and appropriate.
A week after the reform was announced, the Hong Kong police detained 47 pro-democracy activists, accused of conspiring to sabotage, in the largest campaign of its kind since the new security law came into force.
China’s intervention in Hong Kong has been condemned by the United States and its allies in the face of Beijing’s fury, which sees the issue as an internal matter.
Proponents of the new security law – which punishes conspiracies with foreign forces with isolation, sabotage, terrorism offenses and life imprisonment – argue that it was necessary to restore stability in Hong Kong after months of protests in 2019.