The United States on Friday condemned China’s proposed new veto powers on Hong Kong’s selection of lawmakers as a “direct attack” on the city’s autonomy and demanded that Beijing reverse course.

The proposed measures “are a direct attack on Hong Kong’s autonomy, Hong Kong’s freedoms and the democratic processes,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

He said that the move violated Hong Kong’s Basic Law that took effect in 1997 when Britain handed over the financial hub to China.

“If implemented, these measures would drastically undermine Hong Kong democratic institutions and they run directly counter to the Basic Law’s clear acknowledgment that Hong Kong elections should progress towards universal suffrage,” Price said.

“We call on the PRC to uphold its international obligations and commitments and to act consistently with Hong Kong’s Basic Law,” he said, referring to the People’s Republic of China.

“The United States stands together with the people of Hong Kong… who are seeking nothing more than the universal rights… which they are owed.”

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