Hong Kong: pro-democracy MPs resign as protest against Beijing
Hong Kong’s pro-democracy deputies today began to resign as a form of protest after the removal, based on a rule dictated by the central Chinese government, of four members of their political group.
The remaining 15 members of the bloc said they would resign, in protest and as a show of solidarity after China’s central government in Beijing passed a resolution this week that prompted the immediate removal of four pro-democracy legislators.
Most of the 15 legislators did not attend an ordinary session of parliament today and some later delivered letters of resignation to the secretariat of the Legislative Assembly.
China harshly criticized the measure and the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office called the resignations an “open challenge” against central government authority and Hong Kong’s Basic Law.
“If these lawmakers hope to use their resignation to provoke opposition and beg for foreign interference, they miscalculated,” said the Cabinet in a statement.
Wu Chi-wai, the head of the pro-democracy bloc, said the Chinese and Hong Kong governments were trying to end the separation of powers in the city, as the removal of the four legislators bypassed the courts.
“We have lost our power of control and balance, and all constitutional power in Hong Kong is in the hands of the chief executive,” said Wu.
Wu Chi-wai said it was the end of the city structure of “one country, two systems” under which Hong Kong has enjoyed autonomy and freedoms not found on the continent since control of the former British colony was ceded to China in 1997 .
Claudia Mo, a pro-democracy legislator who also gave up her resignation, added: “We are just resigning the legislature right now. We are not abandoning the Hong Kong struggle for democracy ”.
Earlier in the day, one of the pro-democracy legislators, Lam Cheuk-ting, placed a poster on a balcony inside the Legislative Council building saying that Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, had caused the disaster in Hong Kong and the his people, and that his infamy would last ten thousand years.
The joint departure will leave the Hong Kong legislature with only 43 legislators, 41 of whom belong to the pro-Beijing bloc. This means that the legislature could pass Beijing-friendly bills with little opposition.
Lawmakers announced Wednesday their decision to resign hours after the Hong Kong government announced that it would remove four lawmakers – Alvin Yeung, Dennis Kwok, Kwok Ka-ki and Kenneth Leung.
The four called on foreign governments to sanction China and Hong Kong by the Chinese government to crack down on dissent in the semi-autonomous Chinese city. Beijing accused them of violating their oath of office.
A resolution passed this week by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China allows any legislator who refuses to recognize China’s sovereignty over Hong Kong, threatens national security or calls on outside forces to interfere in city affairs to be removed. positions.
The United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom and Australia denounced the measures taken by the Chinese government.
In recent months, Beijing has been increasingly restricting Hong Kong, despite having promised, when it took control in 1997, to leave the territory’s most open legal and economic systems intact for 50 years (until 2047).
Beijing imposed a national security law in June that some labeled ‘draconian’, after anti-government protests rocked the city for months last year, using it to suppress opposition voices.
In response, the United States imposed sanctions against several Chinese officials, including Lam. Several Western countries have suspended their extradition treaties with the territory. Australia and the United Kingdom offered support to Hong Kong citizens.
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