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US urges China to let Hong Kong's voices be heard

Policemen remove protesters in the central district after a rally for greater democracy in Hong Kong early on July 2, 2014 as frustration grows over the influence of Beijing on the cityChina must give Hong Kong the space to debate its political future and allow the “vigorous” voices of the city’s residents to be heard, a top US diplomat said Wednesday. Discontent in Hong Kong, which reverted back to Chinese rule in 1997, is at its highest level in years over Beijing’s insistence that it vet candidates before a 2017 vote for the city’s next leader. Under the terms of its handover by Britain, the vibrant city enjoys a special status for 50 years according it greater liberties than other parts of China. “We want to see continued evidence that the rights of the people of Hong Kong are being respected and that the principles that China embraced in connection with reversion are honored,” America’s top diplomat for East Asia, Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Russel, told AFP.

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