FACTS

    Hong Kong has announced that their legislative elections will be delayed until a year from now, citing numerous factors related to the coronavirus. Similarly, 12 opposition leaders, including four currently seated officials and pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong, were banned from running for office. Defenders of democracy worldwide have criticized the moves, accusing China of attempting to thwart the election of pro-democracy leaders. These recent actions have given example to the quickly turning tides in Hong Kong after the implementation of Beijing’s new national security laws.

    CRITICISM

    Wong said the government’s excuses are lies and criticized the tactics as Beijing attempting “to prevent their landside [loss] during the voting day.” The Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China, an international organization of lawmakers, stated that the moves “represent unacceptable obstructions of the democratic process in Hong Kong and raise further concerns about the erosion of rights and freedoms in the city.”

    “The people of Hong Kong deserve to have their voice represented by the elected officials that they choose in those elections…If they destroy that, if they take that down, it will be another marker that will simply prove that the Chinese Communist Party has now made Hong Kong just another Communist-run city.”

    Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of State

    Executive editor of Washington Examiner criticized Trump’s recent tweets suggesting an election delay, noting that it leaves the US “much less moral authority to criticize China for the delay.”

    DEFENSE

    Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam stated the decision was made due to concerns over public health, the inability to hold campaign events, and the detainment of Chinese citizens abroad due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. The decision was made under the umbrella of emergency powers granted to leaders in order to make decisions that serve the “public interest.”

    “It is purely on the basis of protecting the health and safety of the Hong Kong people and to ensure that the elections are held in a fair and open manner.”

    Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of Hong Kong
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