Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmakers resign after China ruling

Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmakers resign after China ruling
November 11 12:05 2020 Print This Article

All of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy lawmakers have resigned after four of their colleagues were disqualified.

On Wednesday Beijing passed a resolution allowing the city’s government to disqualify politicians deemed a threat to national security.

Shortly afterwards the opposition lawmakers said they would leave the city legislature in solidarity.

For the first time since Hong Kong was handed back to China in 1997 the body has almost no dissenting voices.

BBC China correspondent Stephen McDonnell says the legislature was already stacked in favour of the pro-Beijing-camp.

Hong Kong Democratic Party chairman Wu Chi-wai told reporters: “We can no longer tell the world that we still have ‘one country, two systems’, this declares its official death.”

Hong Kong – formerly a British colony – was returned to China under the “one country, two systems” principle, which allowed it to retain more rights and freedoms than the mainland until 2047.

The dismissal of the four legislators is being seen as the latest attempt by China to restrict Hong Kong’s freedoms, something Beijing denies.

China introduced a controversial and far-reaching national security law in Hong Kong in late June, which criminalised “secession, subversion and collusion with foreign forces”.

The law was introduced after years of pro-democracy and anti-Beijing protests. It has already led to several arrests of activists and has largely silenced protesters.

The territory’s leader, Chief Executive Carrie Lam, is pro-Beijing and is supported by the central government there.

BBC.com

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