The Uganda government does not support foreign interference in the ongoing instability in Hong Kong.
In a statement of solidarity with China issued on Thursday, the government expressed ‘deep concern about the current situation.’
“The Government of the Republic of Uganda has noted that in the recent months the demonstrations in Hong Kong have become radical and violent. We have deep concern about the current situation,” the statement reads.
The Hong Kong protests of 2019 began in June in opposition to a proposed extradition law that would allow the transfer of fugitives to jurisdictions with which the city lacks an extradition deal, including mainland China.
“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 adds.
The anti-government protests have developed into a wider pro-democracy movement, amid weeks of clashes with police that have seen thousands of rounds of tear gas fired, a general strike, and transport chaos – including the shutdown of Hong Kong airport.
On the status of Hong Kong, Uganda says, “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.”
Uganda, a close Chinese ally is the first African nation to weigh in on the chaos.
Hong Kong was a British territory until 1997. Since then, it has been part of China – but with its own system of law and government, known as One Country, Two Systems.
Hong Kong has its own judiciary and a separate legal system. Rights including freedom of assembly and freedom of speech are protected.
But those freedoms – the Basic Law – expire in 2047. It is not clear what Hong Kong’s status will be then.