Carmen Cano talks to Radio 3’s Peter Lewis

The head of the European Union’s office in Hong Kong, Carmen Cano, said on Wednesday that anti-government protesters in the SAR are protecting “One Country, Two Systems”, adding that the principle has been eroded in recent years.

Appearing on RTHK’s “Money Talk” programme, Cano said the international community has heard the voice of the protesters loud and clear and it’s now time for all sides in Hong Kong to enter into dialogue to find a solution to the political crisis.

“I think that the image of more than one million people going to the streets and expressing their views in a peaceful way has been very impressive. But we are also concerned that some violent incidents, by a small minority, can overshadow the strong message of peace and can undermine the voice of the millions of people of Hong Kong,” she said.

Cano said “One Country, Two Systems” has been key to Hong Kong’s economic development in the past and it will be in the future. She said it’s in everybody’s interest for the SAR to keep its high degree of autonomy, rule of law, and its freedoms and rights.

“I think that the people of Hong Kong want to protect Hong Kong’s unique system. We have listened to these concerns and I think everybody else should.”

She added that the solution to the crisis lies in the government’s hands and it should start by talking to the protesters.

“This crisis can only be solved through a political solution. It’s not in the hands of the police … it is through dialogue, through compromise, among all parties involved, that this solution and this compromise can be identified,” she said.