Just After everything that happened, China decided to disqualify unpatriotic members, Hong Kong ‘s opposition bloc intended to withdraw, one of Beijing’s toughest measures yet to quash criticism in the territory.
More than a dozen members of the 70-seat Legislative Council’s pro-democracy camp will resign at a press conference later on Wednesday following the disqualification of four members under the latest Beijing rules, Democratic politician Fernando Cheung stated.
A bill compelling Hong Kong lawmakers to be patriots was previously passed by China ‘s highest legislative body, curbing debate in a political institution that existed more than two decades since the return of the former British colony. In fact, Chairman Li Zhanshu said at the end of his two-day conference that the decision by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress is conducive to Hong Kong ‘s long-term peace and security as well as growth.
In view of this, Offenses included encouraging the freedom of Hong Kong, refusing to recognize the sovereignty of China over the city, asking foreign countries to participate, failing to comply with the basic law of the territory or pledging allegiance to Hong Kong and engaging in any other actions that jeopardize national security.
She even dismissed fears that if the pro-democracy legislators resigned, Hong Kong will have a “rubber-stamp” legislature, saying she accepts diverse views in the legislature. In the aftermath of anti-government demonstrations that rattled Hong Kong last year, the resolution is the latest sign of Chinese resolve to reign in dissent.
Looking back, Beijing bypassed the Legislative Council to implement contentious national security laws, allowing China to be accused by the Community of Seven nations of breaching the provisions of its handover deal with Britain and leading the Trump administration to blacklist more than a dozen senior city-supervising officials.
The right to purge opposition lawmakers will make it easier for Beijing-backed legislators in Hong Kong to dominate the Legislative Council if they gain an extraordinary majority in elections that the government has suspended over the objections of democracy advocates-citing coronavirus fears.
For this reason, Dr Ivan Choy, senior lecturer at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said the move by Beijing would demolish all resistance in the legislature and enable the Hong Kong government to ram through even more restrictive steps in the coming years.