March 12, 2021
We, the foreign ministers of the Group of Seven of Germany, France, Italy, Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and the High Representative of the European Union, unanimously express our grave concern over the decision of the Chinese authorities to eliminate the democratic elements of the electoral system in Hong Kong in a fundamental way. Such a decision indicates that mainland China authorities are determined to silence dissenting voices and positions in Hong Kong.
The package of changes approved by the NPC, along with the mass arrests of pro-democracy activists and politicians, undermine the high degree of one country and two systems of self-government in Hong Kong. The package of measures will also suppress political pluralism, which conflicts with the goal of universal suffrage, which is stipulated in the Basic Law. In addition, the changes will limit freedom of expression – a right enshrined in the UK-China Joint Declaration.
The people of Hong Kong must be trusted to vote in the deliberate interest of Hong Kong. Dealing with different viewpoints, not suppressing them, is the right way to ensure Hong Kong’s stability and prosperity.
We call on China to act in accordance with the British-Chinese Joint Declaration and its other legal obligations, and to respect fundamental rights and freedoms in Hong Kong in accordance with the Basic Law. We also call on China and the Hong Kong authorities to restore confidence in Hong Kong’s political institutions and end the unjustified repression of those who defend democratic values and defend rights and freedoms.