In brief

Yet one more step towards end of Hong Kong’s autonomy as Legislative Council is left without opposition lawmakers

China passes resolution allowing KH government to oust pro-sovereignty legislators · Pro-democratic lawmakers resign en masse in protest

The four disqualified lawmakers.
The four disqualified lawmakers. Author: Screenshot from RTHK VNEWS TV.
Dictated by Chinese central authorities, Hong Kong continues to move towards the end of its political autonomy. The Standing Committee of the Chinese Parliament has adopted a resolution allowing the ouster of any member of Hong Kong’s Legislative Council (LegCo) who promotes the independence of the city or refuses to admit the exercise of Chinese sovereignty there.

The Hong Kong government, in the hands of the pro-Chinese party, has immediately dismissed four legislators from the pan-democratic opposition bloc: Civic Party leader Alvin Yeung, plus LegCo members Dennis Kwok, Kwok Ka-ki, and Kenneth Leung.

In protest, the entire pro-democracy bloc in LegCo —which does not necessarily support Hong Kong’s sovereignty, as most of its members are just pro-autonomy— has resigned. Thus, from now only lawmakers that support the city’s pro-Chinese government will seat at LegCo.

Chairman of Democratic Party Wu Chi-wai has said that Beijing’s decision certifies the end of the “One country, two systems” principle by which Hong Kong and Macao enjoyed a certain amount of self-government. “All the power will be centralised in the chief executive” of Hong Kong, Carrie Lam, “a puppet of the central government,” Wu added.

Carrie Lam has ruled out calling by-elections to replace the 4 lawmakers, arguing that elections will anyway be held in 2021.

The decision approved by the Standing Committee is one more in a series of measures that are eroding Hong Kong’s autonomy. The most recent was the adoption of the National Security Law in June 2020, which allows political dissent and activities considered by the central authorities to be contrary to China’s national sovereignty to be prosecuted.