The White House, which had maintained a neutral stance regarding attempts by Hong Kong citizens to regain universal suffrage in the face of Chinese national oppression, changed its position Monday and supported democracy in Hong Kong.
“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,” said White House spokesman Josh Earnest in a press briefing, Monday.
“We believe that the basic legitimacy of the chief executive in Hong Kong will be greatly enhanced if the Basic Law’s ultimate aim of selection of the chief executive by universal suffrage is fulfilled,” said Earnest.
“We have consistently made our position known to Beijing, and will continue to do so.”
“We do not take sides in the discussion of Hong Kong’s political development, nor do we support any particular individuals or groups involved in it. We encourage all sides to refrain from actions that would further escalate tensions, to exercise restraint, and to express views on the SAR’s political future in a peaceful manner.”
The US government had faced criticism in recent weeks for an apparent lack of action regarding the events in China.
Tens of thousands of Hong Kong citizens have been demonstrating for their right to universal suffrage over the past week, after the Chinese government decided it would only allow political candidates to run for the 2017 elections in Hong Kong who met the approval of the Central People’s Government of the People’s Republic of China (CPC).
By Day Blakely Donaldson