Pompeo condemns Hong Kong government over recent arrests, delayed elections

Joanna Estrada
August 4, 2020

In a statement, he said there is no valid reason for such a lengthy delay. A day earlier, Hong Kong disqualified a dozen candidates from running in the election, accusing them of colluding with foreign countries and opposing the security law.

Hong Kong's autonomy was guaranteed under a "one country, two systems" formula when Britain returned the city to Chinese control in 1997.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam on Friday announced that she was invoking emergency powers to postpone the election planned for September 6, citing mounting concern over the coronavirus pandemic. "That national security law can be applied to people all across the world", The US Secretary of State said.

The poll would have been the former British colony's first official vote since Beijing imposed a sweeping security law to tackle what China broadly defines as secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces, with punishment of up to life in prison.

The European Union (EU) has called on the Hong Kong government to reconsider its decision to postpone the city's election for its Legislative Council (LegCo).

He went on to suggest Hong Kong will become just another communist run city in China if the elections aren't held at the scheduled time.

A group of local Hong Kong councilors said on Sunday that some local residents fear China may use their presence as an opportunity to collect DNA samples for surveillance purposes.

"The HKBA considers that there are serious doubts about the legal and evidential basis of the Government's decision", according to the statement.

Spokesperson Wang Wenbin made the announcement at a press conference in Beijing.

"New Zealand remains deeply concerned at the imposition of this legislation, and we will continue to monitor the situation in Hong Kong as the law is applied".

Hong Kong reported 80 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, ending a 12-day streak of more than 100 new cases each day, but a health official stressed that anti-epidemic measures can not be loosened.

The White House condemned the move, despite Trump making a similar suggestion last week about delaying the United States presidential election - a decision he does not have the authority to make.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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