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    US Authorities Say Hong Kong Elections Should Provide ‘Genuine Choice’ to Citizens

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    The White House has issued an official response to the petition on the Hong Kong protests, urging China to give the people of Hong Kong a genuine choice of candidates for the 2017 elections.

    MOSCOW, October 1 (RIA Novosti) – The White House has issued an official response to the petition on the Hong Kong protests, urging China to give the people of Hong Kong a genuine choice of candidates for the 2017 elections.

    "We believe that the legitimacy of the Chief Executive will be greatly enhanced if the Basic Law's ultimate aim of selection of the Chief Executive by universal suffrage is fulfilled and if the election provides the people of Hong Kong a genuine choice of candidates representative of the voters' will," the statement said.

    The White House said it was watching the situation in Hong Kong and supported "universal suffrage" in the region, as well as the aspirations of Hong Kongers.

    "We are watching the situation in Hong Kong closely. … The United States supports universal suffrage in Hong Kong in accordance with the Basic Law and we support the aspirations of the Hong Kong people. We believe that an open society, with the highest possible degree of autonomy and governed by the rule of law, is essential for Hong Kong's stability and prosperity," the White House stated.

    US authorities added that they had repeatedly expressed their position to the Chinese government and would continue to do so.

    The United States also called on the Hong Kong government to show restraint and on protesters to express their views in a peaceful manner.

    Thousands of people have taken to the streets of Hong Kong to take part in protests against Chinese government's plans to control the 2017 election.

    The petition on the White House website urged the Obama administration "to press the Chinese Government to honor its promise of democratic elections to the Hong Kong citizenry." The petition has garnered almost 200,000 signatures.

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