ROME — The leader of Italy’s leading populist party declared on Friday that China’s communist regime has nothing in common with Italian democracy, condemningthe left-wing government’s silence in the face of Beijing’s crackdown on Hong Kong.
The leader of the League (Lega) party, Matteo Salvini, issued a declaration sharply criticising a communiqué from the Chinese Embassy, following protests by a Lega-organized flash mob outside the embassy in support of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement and against Communist China’s draconian National Security Law.
In their statement, representatives of Beijing in Rome expressed “strong dissatisfaction and disappointment” over the Lega protests, accusing the party leadership of “gratuitous accusations” and applying “double standards” toward China.
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“China’s central government protects national security through legislation and guarantees the stability and durability of the ‘one country, two systems’ principle,” the statement read, claiming that the regime was “ maintaining Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability.”
“There is no country in the world, Italy and China included, which, in the face of serious crimes that threaten their national security, would sit and watch without doing anything,” it continued.
“These politicians, who had denounced acts of violence and criminality taking place on Italian territory and put forward proposals aimed at strengthening legislative measures on public order, pretend not to see and hear the deliberate violations of the law by Hong Kong’s violent people, which even lead to crimes of separatism,” it said.
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In response, Mr Salvini ripped into China’s communist system, insisting it has nothing in common with free Western democracies.
“The Chinese Embassy shouldn’t dare compare China to Italy,” Salvini said. “In Beijing there are no alternative parties to the Communist Party, the opposition is gagged, and even children are arrested in Hong Kong with unheard of violence.”
“The Embassy refers to our Security Decrees, but without explicitly mentioning them,” he continued. “Let us recall that in Italy laws are passed by a democratically elected parliament, and not ratified by the National Assembly of the People in submission to the Communist Party,” he continued.
“More serious and shameful than the Chinese Embassy spokesman’s announcement,” Salvini concluded, is that “in Italy there is only the SILENCE of our government regarding the Hong Kong incidents.”
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