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Singapore FM notes Western media bias on Hong Kong

Updated: 2014-10-06 08:22
By Xinhua in Singapore (China Daily)

Anti-China bias permeates Western media reports on the Occupy Central movement in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Singapore's Foreign Minister K. Shanmugam said.

Speaking in an interview published by the Singapore-based Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao on Saturday, Shanmugam said that reports in the Western media often claim that China is denying democracy and eroding the freedoms that helped Hong Kong become successful.

But the truth is that Hong Kong did not have a democratic system for 150 years under British rule; during that time, neither British nor Western media thought democracy was necessary for Hong Kong, Shanmugam was quoted as saying.

China's proposal offers more democracy than what the city "ever had under the British", and the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration does not mention universal suffrage, he added.

The Occupy Central protesters have recently paralyzed the operations of some of the city's essential services, including parts of its emergency services, by clogging artery roads in downtown districts. They demand universal suffrage without any preconditions in the nomination and election of the city's chief executive.

A proposal outlined by the National People's Congress, the country's legislative body, has said that the candidates who run for Hong Kong's top office should love China and love Hong Kong.

The protestors need to understand that China has acted in accordance with Hong Kong's Basic Law, Shanmugam said.

Separately, Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong told a lecture audience on Friday that issues will arise from time to time in Hong Kong and that they have to be resolved by Hong Kong and the central government in a way that is in accordance with the law and protects the interests of both.

It will not be helpful "if other groups get involved and use this to pressure China or to change China," Lee told the alumni club of the National University of Singapore.


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