World

CCP says it will ‘perfect’ system for choosing HK leader

HONG KONG: The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) said it would "perfect" the system for choosing the leader of Hong Kong after months of street protests demanding democracy and denouncing what critics see as Chinese meddling.

The party said in a statement that it would support its Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong, which returned to China in 1997, and not tolerate any "separatist behaviour" either there or in neighbouring Macau.

Some protesters in Hong Kong have called for independence in sometimes violent unrest, a redline for Beijing.

As the party statement was released by Xinhua news agency, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said she had held a short meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Shanghai.

"He expressed care and concern about Hong Kong, especially given the social disturbances that we have seen in the last five months and he expressed support for the various action taken by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government," she said.

Mrs Lam added: "In strict accordance with the principle of 'one country, two systems', (we will continue) upholding the rule of law and trying to put an end to the violence."

The "one country, two systems" formula guarantees Hong Kong's freedoms, including an independent judicial system, for 50 years.

Mrs Lam also denied widely reported rumours that her government was considering an amnesty for protesters charged with offences, one of the demands of the protesters.

"In simple terms, it will not happen," she said.

The CCP said it would "perfect" the appointment and dismissal mechanisms for the leaders and senior officials of Hong Kong and Macau though it gave no details. - REUTERS

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