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HK democracy should meet people's aspirations: British Foreign Secretary

Published on Feb 11, 2014 6:45 PM

HONG KONG (AFP) - British Foreign Secretary William Hague on Tuesday said Hong Kong's universal suffrage must meet the "aspirations" of the people, in remarks likely to anger Beijing.

The comments, made in a six-monthly report prepared for Britain's Parliament regarding the development of the former colony, is the second time in less than a year that Mr Hague has publicly spoken out on an issue Beijing insists is a purely internal matter.

China has promised the city it will see a transition to universal suffrage by 2017, but has ruled out demands that voters should be able to choose which candidates can stand for the top position.

"I believe the best way to preserve Hong Kong's strengths is through a transition to universal suffrage which meets the aspirations of the people of Hong Kong," Mr Hague said in the report, according to a statement put out by the British consulate in Hong Kong.

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