Response to We the People Petition on the Protests in Hong Kong

We are watching the situation in Hong Kong closely. Around the world, the United States supports internationally recognized fundamental freedoms, such as freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression. We urge the Hong Kong authorities to exercise restraint, and for protestors to express their views peacefully.

The United States supports universal suffrage in Hong Kong in accordance with the Basic Law and we support the aspirations of the Hong Kong people. We believe that an open society, with the highest possible degree of autonomy and governed by the rule of law, is essential for Hong Kong’s stability and prosperity -- indeed this is what has made Hong Kong such a successful and truly global city. We have consistently made our position known to Beijing, and we will continue to do so.

We believe that the legitimacy of the Chief Executive will be greatly enhanced if the Basic Law's ultimate aim of selection of the Chief Executive by universal suffrage is fulfilled and if the election provides the people of Hong Kong a genuine choice of candidates representative of the voters' will.