Updated: 04/05/2014 08:49 | By Agence France-Presse

Biden backs Hong Kong democracy in activist meeting

US Vice President Joe Biden called Friday for democratic rule in Hong Kong as he met with two outspoken activists from the semi-autonomous Chinese metropolis.


Biden backs Hong Kong democracy in activist meeting

A man looks at the city's skyline as a storm approaches in Hong Kong on April 2, 2014 - by Philippe Lopez

In an unusually high sign of support, the White House said Biden stopped by talks at the White House with Martin Lee, a founder of the opposition Democratic Party, and Anson Chan, the former number two in the Hong Kong government.

"The vice president underscored our long-standing support for democracy in Hong Kong and for the city's high degree of autonomy under the 'one country, two systems' framework," a White House statement said.

China promised a separate system for Hong Kong in an agreement with Britain, which returned control of the colonial outpost turned financial hub in 1997. China has promised direct elections for Hong Kong's chief executive in 2017.

Chan and Lee, in public appearances in the United States, charged that Beijing has been tightening its controls over Hong Kong and voiced fear that the communist rulers would only allow handpicked candidates to run in 2017.

The two voiced particular concern over freedom of the press in Hong Kong, pointing to violent assaults on journalists and charging that Beijing was pressuring advertisers to shun critical media.

Speaking Wednesday at the National Endowment for Democracy, Lee said that Western nations including the United States had a "moral obligation" to speak out as they had tried to reassure residents by supporting the handover.

Beijing once described Lee as a "running dog of the colonialists" and has pointed out that Hong Kong did not elect its own leaders under British rule.

Latest Photo Galleries on xinmsn

NEWS VIDEOS

MORE NEWS VIDEOS

facebook recommendations

LIVE NEWS RADIO STREAMING

  • 938 Live

    938LIVE is Singapore's only English news and talk station which transmits round the clock with an engaging and enticing spread of programmes on current affairs, health, business and lifestyle as well as news every half hour until midnight.

  • Capital 958


    95.8FM城市频道的前身是"第三广播网"。上个世纪30年代末,新加坡就有中文广播,一路走来经过不少政治,社会局势的改变,中文广播在本地一直扮演举足轻重的角色。