Hong Kong leader appointment violates democratic norms: EU’s Josep Borrell

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The European Union’s foreign policy chief on Sunday said the anointment of a former security chief as Hong Kong’s new leader violated democratic norms.

John Lee, 64, who oversaw the crackdown on Hong Kong’s democracy movement, was appointed Hong Kong leader on Sunday by a small committee of Beijing loyalists.

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“The European Union regrets this violation of democratic principles and political pluralism and sees this selection process as yet another step in the dismantling of the ‘one country, two systems’ principle,” Josep Borrell said in a statement.

“The European Union attaches great importance to the preservation of Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy as well as respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, including media freedom, democratic principles and the rule of law, in line with the Basic Law and with international commitments,” it said.

“The EU calls on Chinese and Hong Kong authorities to abide by their national and international commitments, notably the ultimate aim of electing the Chief Executive and members of the Legislative Council by universal suffrage.”

Lee, who is under US sanctions, was the only candidate in the Beijing-backed race to succeed outgoing leader Carrie Lam. His appointment places a security official in the top job for the first time after a tumultuous few years for a city battered by political unrest and debilitating pandemic controls.

Read more: Hong Kong security police arrest veteran journalist for alleged sedition

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