'Only Chinese people have a say in China's affairs' - RTHK
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'Only Chinese people have a say in China's affairs'

2021-03-07 HKT 17:59
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  • 'Only Chinese people have a say in China's affairs'
Foreign minister Wang Yi said on Sunday that it is only legal and reasonable for the national legislature to overhaul Hong Kong's electoral system, saying it advances the One Country, Two Systems principle.

The US and European Union had accused Beijing of violating the principle and damaging the SAR's democratic development, as the changes would effectively allow the central government to vet all election candidates in Hong Kong.

Asked about the criticism at his annual press conference in the capital, Wang, who's also a state councillor, said it’s normal for any government to expect their public officers to be loyal to the country.

"Loving Hong Kong and loving the motherland are consistent requirements...in the past 24 years since Hong Kong's [handover], no one has cared more about the [SAR's] democracy, prosperity and stability than the central government," he said, adding the proposals would bring back stability and serve foreign investors well.

China and the United States are at odds over influence in the Indo-Pacific region, Beijing's economic practices, Hong Kong, Taiwan and human rights in Xinjiang.

Asked whether there's room for Sino-US talks over such issues, Wang said all these are China’s internal affairs, adding that only Chinese people have a say in how the country is doing.

"For quite sometime, the United States has been willfully interfering in other countries' internal affairs, in the name of democracy and human rights. This has created lots of trouble in the world, and in some cases, turbulence and conflict," Wang said.

The foreign minister also made clear that there is no room for compromise on the Taiwan issue, saying the island is an inalienable part of Chinese territory and Beijing is capable of "thwarting separatist attempts for Taiwan in whatever form".

Wang also hit back at accusations over human rights abuses in Xinjiang, saying some Western politicians chose to believe "fake news" rather than listening to the voices of 25 million people in the autonomous region.

"We welcome more people to visit Xinjiang - seeing is believing. This is the best way to debunk rumours," Wang said.

"When it comes to 'genocide', most people think of North American Indians in the 16th century, African slaves in the 19th century, Jews in the 20th century, and the Australian aborigines who are still fighting today," he added. (Additional reporting by Reuters)