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Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons, Monday, September 29, 2014 in Ottawa.

Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Canada is speaking out in support of pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong, calling for universal suffrage in the former British colony where tens of thousands have protested Beijing's decision to hand pick electoral candidates for city's top leader.

(What is Hong Kong's Umbrella Revolution? The Globe's simple primer)

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird's office said Monday it's concerned about the situation unfolding in Hong Kong.

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It called on China to stick to the policies that were supposed to govern Hong Kong as a result of negotiations between China's Deng Xiaoping and former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher in 1984.

"Canada's position is clear. We are supportive of democratic development in Hong Kong and believe that the ongoing adherence to the 'One Country, Two Systems' policy has contributed to and remains essential for Hong Kong's stability and prosperity," Adam Hodge, press secretary to Mr. Baird, said.

"Canada reiterates its support for the implementation of universal suffrage for the election of the Chief Executive in 2017 and all members of the Legislative Council in 2020, in accordance with the Basic Law and the democratic aspirations of the Hong Kong people."

Mr. Baird took to Twitter this past weekend to signal his support for Hong Kong residents "Aspirations of people of Hong Kong are clear," he wrote via Twitter. "Canada supports continued freedom of speech and prosperity under the rule of law."

The Official Opposition NDP signaled its solidarity with the Hong Kong protests.

"New Democrats believe that freedom of expression and association, including the right to peaceful protest, are fundamental rights. We stand in solidarity with all people who aspire for democracy, peace and the protection of human rights," Paul Dewar, NDP foreign affairs critic, said.

The NDP called on Chinese authorities to "exercise restraint during this period" and said it hopes the "democratic aspirations of Hong Kong residents for universal suffrage will be peacefully achieved."

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