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China angry as US lawmakers nominate Hong Kong democracy activists for Nobel Peace Prize

Left to right: Alex Chow, Nathan Law, and Joshua Wong. (Photo courtesy: BBC)
Left to right: Alex Chow, Nathan Law, and Joshua Wong. (Photo courtesy: BBC)

(TibetanReview.net, Feb04, 2018) – China has on Feb 2 accused two US lawmakers of “meddling” in its internal affairs after they nominated three former student leaders of Hong Kong’s 2014 pro-democracy movement for the Nobel Peace Prize, reported the Cantonese Service of rfa.org Feb 2. Ten other US lawmakers were reported to have supported the nominations.

Senator Marco Rubio and Representative Chris Smith of Washington’s Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) had nominated Joshua Wong, Nathan Law, Alex Chow and the pro democracy Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong for the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize for their “peaceful efforts to bring political reform and self-determination to Hong Kong.”

In a statement a posted on the CECC website on Feb 1, Rubio has called Joshua Wong and his fellow pro-democracy advocates “an inspiration”, adding, “their cause has reverberations far beyond their city.” He has lauded them for being “unflinching in their peaceful and principled commitment to a free and prosperous Hong Kong”.

And Smith has said the trio were in the tradition of all great Nobel Peace Prize laureates, pointing out, “They continue to hold up a mirror to the ugly face of authoritarianism and show us again that the desire for democracy and human rights are universal ideals, shared by all people, everywhere.”

But China’s Foreign Ministry condemned them, saying those involved in the protests had been punished in accordance with the law; that the entire movement was “illegal from head to toe”.

“We urge the relevant US Congressmen to stop interfering in Hong Kong and China’s internal affairs, and do more to benefit the development of Sino-US ties rather than the opposite,” the ministry was quoted as saying in a statement sent to Reuters.

All three were jailed on public order offenses last year after Hong Kong’s department of justice under newly elected Chief Executive Ms Carrie Lam requested a court review of their previously non-custodial sentences.

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