China / HK Macao Taiwan

China dismisses comments by last governor of Hong Kong

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-09-17 09:22

BEIJING - China has backed its envoy's remarks on Hong Kong's political reform, after China's ambassador to Britain criticised the last colonial governor of Hong Kong in a British newspaper.

"Britain has never made any arrangement on Hong Kong's political system, let alone gave the Hong Kong people the opportunity for universal suffrage, in more than 150 years of colonial rule," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a daily news briefing.

"This is a very basic historical fact pointed out by Ambassador Liu Xiaoming in his article," Hong said, referring to a letter to the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

The letter came after Chris Patten, Hong Kong's last governor before Britain returned its sovereignty to China in 1997, wrote a piece for The Financial Times, that China's top legislature's decision on electoral reform in the region is "denial" of democracy and means the Hong Kong people "lack the ability to choose who governs them".

Chinese National People' s Congress (NPC) has decided that the election of a chief executive for Hong Kong in 2017 shall be implemented by universal suffrage.

Hong reiterated that China's top legislature's decision complies with the policy of "One Country, Two Systems," the region's basic law and its realities and is conducive to prosperity and stability in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong has not, as Lord Patten appears to believe, been bequeathed democracy by Britain. For more than a century and a half, Britain had total responsibility for the territory - and did nothing to encourage or produce democracy. It is therefore the rankest hypocrisy of people such as Lord Patten to criticise China for any perceived failings to introduce democracy, Liu wrote in his letter to the Daily Telegraph.

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