KAMPALA – The government of Uganda has said it supports China’s policy on Hong Kong even as residents in the semi-autonomous state continue to demand Independence.
In an October 3, 2019 statement that signals Kampala’s continued warming to Beijing, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Hong Kong is part of China and therefore, Hong Kong’s affairs are China’s domestic affairs.
“The Government of the Republic of Uganda has noted that in recent months the demonstrations in Hong Kong have become radical and violent. We have deep concern about the current situation. Uganda firmly supports the “One Country, two Systems” policy of the People’s Republic of China on the matter of Hong Kong and other areas,” the statement reads in part.
“Hong Kong is part of China. Hong Kong’s affairs are China’s domestic affairs. As a basic norm of International Relations, the Government of Uganda respects the sovereignty of all Countries and objects to any foreign interference into the domestic affairs of other countries,” the statement adds.
Hong Kong’s protests started in June against proposals to allow extradition to mainland China. Critics feared this could undermine the city’s judicial independence and endanger dissidents. A former British colony, Hong Kong has some autonomy and more rights than the mainland under a “one country, two systems” deal.
The extradition bill which triggered the first protest was introduced in April. It would have allowed for criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland China, under certain circumstances. City leader Carrie Lam agreed to suspend the bill, but demonstrations continued and developed to include demands for full democracy and an inquiry into police actions. The bill was finally withdrawn in September.
Uganda’s warming up to China comes after President Museveni said China is a credible development partner because of their policy of non-interference in Uganda’s internal affairs.
“The Chinese, when they come to work with us here, they don’ tell us what to do; they don’t give us conditions such as ‘if you don’t do this, we shall not do that’. They just do what they can and will not manipulate you,” he said.
He was speaking during celebrations to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China in Kampala on Tuesday, September 24, 2019.