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US congratulates Hong Kong people on free, fair and peaceful district council polls

US congratulates Hong Kong people on free, fair and peaceful district council polls

Washington: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo congratulated the people of Hong Kong on free, fair and peaceful district council elections over the weekend.

"We congratulate the people of Hong Kong on free, fair, and peaceful district council elections on the 24th of November," Pompeo told reporters.

Pro-democracy candidates won an overwhelming majority of the 452 elected seats in Hong Kong's district councils, weakening the pro-Beijing establishment's grip on them. The poll result, the first vote to be held since protests engulfed the city, has stunned the semi-autonomous territory.

Pompeo said the US continues to support democratic values, fundamental freedoms in Hong Kong as guaranteed by the "one country, two systems" framework, and aspirations of the Hong Kong people.

Responding to a question, Pompeo said that the Trump administration has been pretty clear about its expectations about how Beijing will treat people throughout their country.

"We have human rights standards that we apply all across the world, and Hong Kong is no different. In addition, in Hong Kong we have the commitments that the Chinese Government made as part of their obligations to maintain one country and two systems. That's what we're continuing to work towards, he said.

Congress last week passed a bill that called for sanctions and tough actions against China in view of its crack down on Hong Kong. President Donald Trump so far seems to be reluctant to sign the bill.

"Since it's before the president, I won't get out in front of what he will do before too long," he said.

"But suffice to say, I think the administration's policies have been pretty unambiguous, and our support for the Chinese Communist Party's continued commitment to the promises that they made remains unwavering. And I think you saw that from the people of Hong Kong this past week, Pompeo said.

"That's what they're asking for, too, the continued maintenance of the understandings that were committed to under international law, he said.

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