Rachel Maguire
Rachel Maguire
2 min of reading
  • Hong Kong's pro-democracy lawmakers said Wednesday that they were resigning in mass.
  • The Chinese government had banned four legislators lawmakers.
  • During the news conference, pro-democracy lawmakers chanted: “Hong Kong add oil”.

Hong Kong (SK) — Hong Kong's pro-democracy lawmakers said Wednesday that they were resigning in mass. The move is following a decision of the Chinese government to dismiss four of their fellow pro-democracy lawmakers: Alvin Yeung, Dennis Kwok, Kwok Ka-ki and Kenneth Leung. During the news conference, pro-democracy lawmakers chanted “Hong Kong add oil, together we stand”. “Add oil” is a translation of a Chinese encouragement expression. 

In recent months, Beijing has taken steps to enlist opposition voices in Hong Kong, after months of anti-government protests last year rocked the city. The ousters came after China's National People's Congress Standing Committee passed a resolution this week saying that any lawmaker who supports Hong Kong's independence and refuses to acknowledge China's sovereignty over the city should be disqualified. Hong Kong's leader, Carrie Lam, said in a news conference Wednesday that lawmakers must act properly. “I clearly will say that it is unfair to the pro-establishment members that once the 19 members left the Legislative Council, then they will become a rubber stamp of the Hong Kong SAR government”.

“In terms of legality and constitutionality, obviously from our point of view this is clearly in breach of the Basic Law and our rights to participate in public affairs, and a failure to observe due process”, said Kwok, one of the disqualified lawmakers. The pro-democracy camp was reportedly leaving Hong Kong's legislative body, only pro-China lawmakers remaining. The ministers were disqualified for calling on foreign governments to impose sanctions on Hong Kong and Beijing. China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said that the move was necessary to maintain rule of law in Hong Kong. “The issue of the qualification of Hong Kong Legislative Council members is purely China's internal affairs. No county has the right to make irresponsible remarks”.

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