(TibetanReview.net, Nov13’20) – Authorities in Hong Kong are increasingly becoming nothing more than local leaders from mainland China, with their role being limited to carrying out orders from Beijing. After more than two decades of ‘one country, two systems’ special status, Hong Kong appears set to become another Tibet which too was given special status under a 17-article agreement concluded in May 1951.
On Nov 11, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam used broad new powers she had just received from Beijing to expel four pro-democracy legislators deemed unpatriotic without having to go through the courts.
The move prompted the special administrative region’s remaining 15 pro-democracy lawmakers to protest by tendering their resignation in a mass move.
Pro-Beijing legislators quickly announced that they would make full use of their new dominance to advance a slew of priorities that otherwise would have met fierce resistance, reported the New York Times Nov 13.
Some politicians seemed almost gleeful, the report noted. The report cited Carrie Lam as saying that her government felt “all the more excited” that its bills could be passed efficiently. The Legislative Council had been one of the last bastions of formalized, legal dissent in the city, the report noted.
According to this week’s ruling by the National People’s Congress, China’s rubber-stamp parliament, Hong Kong lawmakers who are deemed to promote or support the city’s independence from China, or who refuse to acknowledge Beijing’s sovereignty will “immediately lose their qualifications.”
The same will occur for elected lawmakers who “seek foreign forces to intervene in the affairs of Hong Kong, or who have endangered national security” and who “fail to uphold the Basic Law” – the city’s constitution – as well as those who are deemed “not loyal to the legal requirements and conditions” of the territory, noted the edition.cnn.com Nov 12.
So, the 15 pro-democracy lawmakers were likely to lose their seats anyhow.
While Hong Kong’s legislature will likely continue with a host of pro-Beijing lawmakers carrying out something resembling democratic governance, the reality is likely to be closer to China’s model of one-party rule, the report noted.