A joint statement by Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States has been released in response to recent moves by Hong Kong authorities to disqualify a number of pro-democracy candidates from participating in upcoming elections.

The statement in full, as issued via official channels by all signatories – listed below – reads:

We, the Foreign Ministers of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom , and the United States Secretary of State, are gravely concerned by the Hong Kong government’s unjust disqualification of candidates and disproportionate postponement of Legislative Council elections.  These moves have undermined the democratic process that has been fundamental to Hong Kong’s stability and prosperity.

We express deep concern at Beijing’s imposition of the new National Security Law, which is eroding the Hong Kong people’s fundamental rights and liberties.

We support the legitimate expectations of the people of Hong Kong to elect Legislative Council representatives via genuinely free, fair, and credible elections. We call on the Hong Kong government to reinstate the eligibility of disqualified candidates so that the elections can take place in an environment conducive to the exercise of democratic rights and freedoms as enshrined in the Basic Law.

Beijing promised autonomy and freedoms under the “One Country, Two Systems” principle to the Hong Kong people in the Sino-British Joint Declaration, a U.N.-registered treaty, and must honor its commitments. We urge the Hong Kong government to hold the elections as soon as possible.

  • Senator the Hon Marise Payne, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, Australia
  • The Honourable Francois-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Canada
  • The Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, New Zealand
  • The Rt Honourable Dominic Raab, MP, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and First Secretary of State, United Kingdom
  • Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State, United States
10 August 2020
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