Hong Kong should continue to be free and open, Japan tells China

DHARAMSALA, 25 Dec: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has backed Hong Kong’s autonomy and told the Chinese president that the island should “continue to be free and open” after pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong has gripped the island since June earlier this year. 

Abe is reported to have made the remarks during his meeting with the Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday in Beijing ahead of the Japan, China and Korean trilateral meeting on Tuesday, reports the Business Standard.

“Mr Abe reiterated that he is very much concerned about the situation…(and) mentioned that under the ‘one country, two systems’, Hong Kong should continue to be free and open and to be able to enjoy its development,” Otaka Masato, the spokesperson of Japanese PM has disclosed at a press briefing after the meeting between two leaders.

Otaka has further stated that Abe “urged China to continue its self-restraint” over Hong Kong and expressed “hope for an early resolution of the situation.” The Japanese Prime Minister is also said to have raised his concerns over the human rights in East Turkistan.

However, Xi has reportedly shot back at Abe calling Hong Kong “a domestic matter”.

The leaders were also said to have held discussions on North Korea and the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula at the meet.

Meanwhile, South Korea has rejected China’s version of President Moon’s Hong Kong remarks on Hong Kong and East Turkistan.

Seoul has contradicted an attempt by Beijing to back South Korea into China’s official stance on Hong Kong and Xinjiang, the SCMP reported.

the report stated that though the South Korean President Moon Jae-in was quoted by the Chinese foreign ministry to have stated that the troubled regions were China’s internal affairs during meetings on Monday in Beijing with President Xi Jinping, the remark was nowhere to be found in the official statement issued by the South Korean government.

“President Xi explained that Hong Kong and Xinjiang issues were internal affairs. President Moon said ‘well noted’ in response,” Ko Min-jung, a spokesman from South Korea’s presidential office was quoted as saying in the report.

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