While continuing to insist that Hong Kong is an internal Chinese affair in which foreigners should not interfere, the Chinese government is using the recent legislative elections in the former British colony to put it front and center in Beijing’s worsening relationship with the West.

Even before the United States convened The Summit for Democracy on Dec. 9-10, Beijing issued a white paper, “China: Democracy That Works,” extolling its own system and claiming that the Chinese Communist Party had developed a “whole-process people’s democracy,” a term first used by Chinese leader Xi Jinping in 2019.

The paper said China, which was not invited to the summit, did not duplicate Western models of democracy “but created its own.”