Chairman of the Electoral Affairs Commission Barnabas Fung Wah and electoral staff open the ballot boxes at the central counting station cum media center for the chief executive election at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai, May 8, 2022. (EDMOND TANG / CHINA DAILY)
The central government and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region's government hit back at the European Union and G7 on Tuesday for smearing Hong Kong's just-concluded chief executive election, its new electoral system, and the Chinese government's policy for the SAR.
Their remarks came after G7 foreign ministers and the EU high representative for foreign affairs and security policy expressed on Monday "grave concerns over the selection process for the Chief Executive in Hong Kong," calling it "part of a continued assault on political pluralism and fundamental freedoms".
Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Tuesday that the finger-pointing of these politicians laid bare their double standards and hypocrisy, as well as their attempt to destabilize the HKSAR and contain China.
Zhao said the HKSAR is part of China and that the kind of electoral system and path of democracy the HKSAR is pursuing is purely China's internal affair.
The just-concluded chief executive election, carried out fairly, justly and in accordance with the law, was another example of the successful implementation of the improved electoral system, and fully demonstrated a genuine democracy, Zhao said.
In a statement on Monday, the spokesperson for the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council said the winner of the election received the widespread trust and support of the general public in Hong Kong.
The spokesperson said the election of the sixth-term chief executive of the HKSAR represents a new success for Hong Kong in developing democracy that is suitable to its own conditions.
In a separate statement, the Office of the Commissioner of the Chinese Foreign Ministry in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region also rebutted criticism by the foreign politicians, calling it a self-defeating attempt to undermine Hong Kong's prosperity and stability.
"We fully believe that the patriotic governance team elected under the new electoral system will unite and lead all sectors of Hong Kong society to open a new chapter for the city, and Hong Kong will certainly embrace new glory at a new starting point," the statement said.
Also pouring scorn on the double standards of these politicians, the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR said that they turn a blind eye to the structural flaws in their own democratic systems and attacked the HKSAR's election and the Chinese government's implementation of the "one country, two systems", seriously undermining basic norms that govern international relations.
The central government's unswerving resolve in implementing the "one country, two systems "policy will not be deterred by political manipulation and brazen intervention by any foreign forces, the liaison office said.
In a statement on Tuesday, the HKSAR government expressed strong opposition to the unfounded criticism and misleading comments by the Western politicians.
The government's spokesman said critics of Hong Kong's electoral system ignored the unprecedented challenges and security risks Hong Kong faced from the latter part of 2019, when members of the legislature exploited the political structure to engage in activities undermining national security.
"Any allegation that the improved electoral system has weakened democracy in the governance of Hong Kong is misguided. … We strongly believe that improving the electoral system, ensuring 'patriots administering Hong Kong' and safeguarding the overall interests of society are conducive to the stable development of Hong Kong's democracy," the spokesman said.