China says G-7 concern over Hong Kong leader selection is interference

Election committee members arrive at a polling station during Hong Kong's chief executive election on May 8, 2022.
PHOTO: Reuters

BEIJING - China said on Tuesday (May 10) that an expression of concern by the Group of Seven (G-7) industrialised nations over the selection process for Hong Kong's new chief executive was interference in China's internal affairs.

The G-7 said on Monday that the selection process for a new chief executive in Hong Kong was a source of grave concern and underscored wider worries about fundamental freedoms in the city.

"Certain Western countries and institutions have colluded to maliciously smear Hong Kong's election of its chief executive, a wanton interference in China's internal affairs which China is resolutely opposed to and strongly condemns," Mr Zhao Lijian, a spokesman at the foreign ministry, told a regular news conference.

Mr Zhao said such countries chose to disregard improvements in Hong Kong's democracy.

He also criticised countries that "use the tone of a teacher of democracy to lecture on the democratic election in China's Hong Kong", adding that "relevant countries and institutions should respect China's sovereignty".

The G-7 comprises Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States.

Hong Kong's leader-in-waiting, Mr John Lee, was endorsed for the city's top job on Sunday by a committee stacked with pro-Beijing loyalists, as the financial hub attempts to relaunch itself after several years of political upheaval.