Chief Executive Carrie Lam has expressed “regret” after a group of US lawmakers nominated the pro-democracy Umbrella Movement for the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize.
The bipartisan group of US politicians on Thursday announced their nomination of activists Joshua Wong, Nathan Law, Alex Chow, and the entire pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong “in recognition of their peaceful efforts to bring political reform and self-determination to Hong Kong and protect the autonomy and freedom guaranteed Hong Kong in the Sino-British Joint Declaration.”
In a joint statement on Friday, the trio said they were honoured to receive the nomination, but added: “At this critical juncture, we need to join hands with the international community and together defend Hong Kong as a bridgehead for democratic movements.”
Asked about the matter by reporters in Beijing on Saturday, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said: “Personally, my view is that the Nobel Prize is an international award that is respected by people, so I regret that some foreign politicians have seemingly used such a respectable international award for political interference.”
“I’m not saying that the international award itself is interference – I’m saying some politicians seem to be using the international award nomination to express some political message. I think everyone knows the nature of ‘Occupy Central,’ and the courts have made a ruling as such.”
Speaking to the press after an event on Saturday, Chief Secretary and Acting Chief Executive Matthew Cheung said: “It is undeniable that Hong Kong has a foundation of rule of law… the most important is that there is order in society. And we all know the so-called Occupy movement is an illegal incident and we must act in accordance with the law.”
Cheung said that as legal proceedings are ongoing, the government would not comment on individual cases, but said it was important to understand that “Hong Kong’s success comes from implementation of One Country, Two Systems,” which states that the sovereignty, dignity, territorial integrity and safety of the country must be defended.
“I hope everyone understands that many overseas politicians may not understand the true situation of Hong Kong, and individual politicians may have their own motives,” he said, adding that the courts and judicial independence should be respected.