China's foreign ministry accused the US and UK of holding China to a double standard over the issue of democracy in Hong Kong. China was criticized by both London and Washington after it announced that Hong Kong would not be allowed to hold direct elections for its chief executive in 1997. Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing asked at a Shanghai news conference, ï¿½Do you think Hong Kong had democracy under British rule?ï¿½ Li said neither the British nor the US raised concerns about democracy in Hong Kong when the territory was a British colony from the middle of the 19th Century to 1997. Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan said that before returning to mainland control, Hong Kong was ruled by London-appointed governors, whereas now the territory could elect 30 of its legislators.
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