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Double standards on the issue of “democracy”

Recently, the Washington Post published an editorial accusing the Hong Kong government of lacking democracy in the District Council reform plan announced last week and suggesting that “retaining some directly elected seats” is only a farce to maintain the illusion that Hong Kong people still enjoy a certain degree of freedom, rather than a real election. The Chief Secretary for Administration of Hong Kong, Mr. Chan Kwok-kee, sent a letter to the Washington Post, refuting the editorial of the Washington Post, which distorts facts and fabricates facts to smear the new system of District Councils in the name of commentary.

As soon as the reform of the electoral system, an internal matter of the Hong Kong SAR, was announced, Western commentators were eager to make all sorts of wacky assumptions about it. Under the new electoral rules, any candidate in any of the five sectors of the Hong Kong Election Committee must be nominated by at least two people to run. This makes the threshold for “prospective candidates” higher, but it must not be seen as a step backwards in the democratic process. On the contrary, it helps close the loophole where populists who do not have sufficient support cannot easily run for office.

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