HK lawmaker condemns UK parliamentary group's invitation withdrawal decision, calling it ‘childish’ and exposing hypocrisy
HK lawmaker condemns UK parliamentary group's invitation withdrawal decision, calling it 'childish' and exposing hypocrisy
Published: Jan 28, 2023 04:48 PM

LegCo Photo:VCG

LegCo Photo:VCG

A Hong Kong legislator condemned the latest decision of UK parliamentary group to withdraw an invitation to the Hong Kong Legislative Council for attending an upcoming seminar in March, calling that the decision by the UK was "childish," and it is hypocritical for British politicians to claim that they are in a democratic country but refuse to listen to voices from different jurisdictions, the legislator said. 

The UK branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) - a parliament group that was founded in 1911, unanimously agreed to withdraw the invitation to Hong Kong lawmakers to attend the 2023 Westminster Seminar on Effective Parliament, citing the so-called "deteriorating situation" in Hong Kong, according to a statement issued on Thursday. 

The Westminster Seminar on Effective Parliaments is an opportunity to promote parliamentary democracy, and for delegates to learn more about the role of parliamentarians and parliamentary officials or clerks, as well as share knowledge and good practice with other legislatures.

Dominic Lee and Carmen Kan -two legislators from Hong Kong - were among those who planned to attend the event that will take place from March 13 to 17 in London, according to media reports. 

"We condemn the decision made by the organizing body, it is a political manipulation and an assault to our enhanced system," Lee told the Global Times on Saturday. 

Besides citing the "deteriorating situation in Hong Kong," the CPA statement also cited a serious erosion of political plurality and participation in Hong Kong, which, in my view,  the decision by the UK "childish," Lee said. 

Since the invitation was made to Hong Kong lawmakers late last year, and since then, there has been no major change in our political system, our legislative body is still diverse, and our rule of law index is still among one of the best in the world, ranking 22nd in the World Justice Project, he said. 

Despite that the implementation of the National Security Law for Hong Kong in June, 2020, and the electoral reform in 2021 helped bringing the city back to the correct path and helped it realize its transition from chaos to governance and further toward prosperity, several US-led Western countries have been continuously undermining the situation in Hong Kong, trying to interfere in Hong Kong affairs and China's internal affairs. 

For instance, in early January, the British government published its 51st six-monthly report on Hong Kong, distorting facts and grossly interfering in Hong Kong affairs, and seriously violating the basic norms governing international relations, toward which the Chinese Embassy to the UK expressed strong dissatisfaction. 

"Since this seminar was meant to be a platform to exchange different information about how parliaments or legislative bodies work in different jurisdiction, if you think that the system in Hong Kong is not what you have in mind, why don't you take this opportunity to understand and learn the ins and outs of our new system?" he said. 

"The UK government has always stressed the importance of listening to the people of Hong Kong. Being a democratically elected representative, even if I cannot represent all of Hong Kong residents, I can at least represent a good amount of them," Lee said. 

"Then why are they refusing to listen to our side of the story?" he asked, noting that it is hypocritical for some UK politicians to claim that they are a democratic country but refuse to listen to voices from different jurisdictions.

"The fact that I cannot attend this seminar is not my loss, nor is it Hong Kong's loss," Lee said. 

The Hong Kong lawmaker pointed out that the UK will suffer the biggest loss by withdrawing the invitation as it will lose an opportunity to further understand Hong Kong's legislature while such political manipulation won't damage the spirit of local lawmakers.