The G7 and the European Union expressed their “grave concern” on Monday 9 May after the appointment as head of Hong Kong for the next five years of the former British colony’s security chief, who had overseen the crackdown on the pro-democracy movement and the severe political takeover that followed.
In a statement, the heads of diplomacy of the G7 (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States) and the EU said the process and the resulting appointment was a “radical departure from the goal of universal suffrage and further erodes the ability of Hong Kongers to be legitimately represented.
The only candidate, John Lee 64 years old, was nominated on Sunday by a small committee of 1,461 personalities representing the political and economic elite, all of them supporters of the Chinese regime. “We are deeply concerned by this continuing erosion of Hong Kong’s political and civil rights and autonomy,” the G7 and EU heads of diplomacy added, calling the process that led to John Lee’s appointment “part of a continuing attack on political pluralism and fundamental freedoms. They urge the new Chief Executive to “respect the rights and freedoms protected in Hong Kong” and to ensure that the judicial system “upholds the rule of law.
The appointment of John Lee, sanctioned by the United States for his role in the crackdown on pro-democracy protests in 2019, had already been condemned by the European Union.
“The selection process” of this former police officer in charge of the city’s security, “is a new step in the dismantling of the principle ‘one country, two systems’. The Chinese and Hong Kong authorities must respect their national and international commitments,” Borrell said on his Twitter account.
John Lee will take office on July 1 and has promised to strengthen national security and accelerate the integration of Hong Kong with China.