The governments of the U.S., U.K., Australia, Canada and New Zealand said they are "gravely concerned" by the Hong Kong government's decision to postpone legislative elections and bar pro-democracy candidates from participating.
"These moves have undermined the democratic process that has been fundamental to Hong Kong's stability and prosperity," the U.S. secretary of state and foreign ministers from the other countries said in a joint statement.
They also expressed "deep concern" over Beijing's imposition of the new National Security Law in Hong Kong, which will make it a crime to advocate for independence from China. The law "is eroding the Hong Kong people's fundamental rights and liberties," the statement said.
"We support the legitimate expectations of the people of Hong Kong to elect Legislative Council representatives via genuinely free, fair, and credible elections. We call on the Hong Kong government to reinstate the eligibility of disqualified candidates so that the elections can take place in an environment conducive to the exercise of democratic rights and freedoms."
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