China Bans Pro-Democracy Politicians in Hong Kong

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November 8, 2016

China banned two Hong Kong politicians who favor independence Monday, in what is being called an unprecedented move.

November 8, 2016

China banned two Hong Kong politicians who favor independence Monday, in what is being called an unprecedented move.

Protesters scuffle with police officers after clashing as thousands of people march in a Hong Kong street, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016.: Protesters marched in Hong Kong on Sunday, demanding that China's central government stay out of a political dispute after Beijing indicated that it would intervene to deter pro-independence advocates.

China's parliament instigated the move against the Hong Kong legislators, Yau Wai-ching and Sixtus "Baggio" Leung, saying the two would not be able to hold office. The move is a blow to those seeking greater autonomy or even independence from the mainland.

Hong Kong is semi-autonomous, but within China's dominion; Hong Kong returned to Chinese control in 1997. The governmental arrangement between Hong Kong and Beijing is often referred to as "one country, two systems."

The National People's Congress Standing Committee, interpreting Hong Kong's constitution, said that Hong Kong's legislators must take their oaths "sincerely and solemnly," and said discussions of independence are "dividing the country."

"Since the legislative council elections, some people have been advocating independence," said Li Fei, the chairman of the basic law committee in China's parliament. "The interpretation today will help to defend national unity and sovereignty… [Beijing] is determined to firmly confront the pro-independence forces without any ambiguity."

Pro-democracy forces condemned the move, and warned it would prove ineffective for China's aims.

"Every time Beijing tries to use legal instruments to stop Hong Kong people seeking democracy, the opposite will happen," said Eddie Chu, a pro-democracy politician. "The thoughts of the young people have changed a lot in these few years and I don't think this interpretation will deter them from seeking self-determination. Quite the opposite."


Courtesy: US News & World Reports