UK foreign secretary Dominic Raab slammed China's electoral changes relating to Hong Kong on Thursday, stating that Beijing was attempting to "hollow out" democratic processes in the special administrative region.
The electoral reforms would cut 117 district councillor seats in Hong Kong's legislative body and replace them with "patriotic" pro-Beijing lawmakers.
— Dominic Raab (@DominicRaab) March 11, 2021
“This is the latest step by Beijing to hollow out the space for democratic debate in Hong Kong, contrary to the promises made by China itself. This can only further undermine confidence and trust in China living up to its international responsibilities and legal obligations as a leading member of the international community," Raab said in a statement.
The news comes as Chinese lawmakers unanimously voted 2,895-0 on Thursday to change Hong Kong's electoral system.
The news comes after clashes with the British ambassador to China, Caroline Wilson, who published an article on social media about press freedom which has provoked anger in Beijing.
Chinese officials later summoned the envoy because of the matter and blocked the post from being shared on social media.
Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam pledged "staunch support" for the electoral reforms in a statement, adding that the measures are aimed at strengthening the "One Country, Two Systems" policy which is designed to get the region "back on the right track".