Tomáš Petříček at the U.S. Department of State in February 2019

Beijing should respect the autonomy of Hong Kong, says Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček

Beijing should respect the autonomy of Hong Kong and lead a dialogue with its protesting inhabitants, according to Petříček

Prague, Nov 19 (CTK) – Beijing should respect the autonomy of Hong Kong and lead a dialogue with its protesting inhabitants, while both sides should give up violence, Czech Foreign Tomáš Petříček (junior government Social Democrats, CSSD) said today.

Anti-government protests have been staged in Hong Kong, a former British colony, for more than five months, culminating with sharp clashes at the Polytechnic University in the past few days.

“The shocking violence in Hong Kong is no solution! It is vital to protect fundamental freedoms, including the freedom of assembly, but also the rule of law. Neither policemen and soldiers, nor the protesters should get away with acts of violence,” Petříček tweeted.

“Dialogue with protesters is the key, while respecting the basic law, including the autonomy; also Beijing should know that.”

He sent his words of support to the inhabitants of Hong Kong saying: “In your non-violent fight for your rights, I am with you!”

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Petricek added that he had agreed with the EU statement calling on both sides of the dispute to launch a dialogue and condemning violence. At the same time, the EU approves of the Hong Kong inhabitants’ right to assembly and a calm protest.

The demonstrations are aimed against the current government of Hong Kong that returned under the Chinese administration in 1997.

Based on the “one country – two systems” principle, it is to secure a democratic rule and autonomy in the area. But its critics claim that China has been gradually restricting these freedoms, which Beijing denies.

Since the beginning of the protests, 4,491 people aged from 11 to 83 years have been arrested, according to the data from the local police that reject the accusations of brutality.

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