The United States has condemned the city’s ‘erosion of autonomy’ 25 years after it was handed up to China by Britain. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken voiced Washington’s sympathy with Hong Kong residents, calling for the restoration of their personal freedom.
Blinken stated in a statement, ‘It is clearly clear that Hong Kong and Beijing authorities no longer see democratic participation, fundamental freedoms, and an independent media as important’. According to Blinken, China failed to satisfy its obligation to uphold a ‘One Country, Two Systems’ arrangement under the pact that ended British colonial control in 1997.
With once-annual pro-democracy protests is now a thing of the past, Chinese President Xi Jinping will preside over rather subdued celebrations honouring the transfer of the city from Britain to China on Friday. According to Blinken, China imposed a rigorous security ordinance in an ‘attempt to deprive Hong Kongers of what they have been promised,’ which resulted in the shutdown of media outlets and the imprisonment of opposition members.
Following massive pro-democracy protests in 2019, political commentators regard Jinping’s visit as a victory tour after Beijing strengthened its grip on Hong Kong with a sweeping national security statute. Amid the coronavirus epidemic, Jinping will swear in the new leader of the global financial hub, John Lee, in his first known journey beyond the mainland in more than two years. On his last visit to Hong Kong, Jinping warned against any activities jeopardising China’s sovereignty, saying the city needs to tighten up its national security preparations.