- The central government in Beijing imposed the national security law on the semi-autonomous Chinese territory after city leaders could not get one passed locally.
- 12 candidates said they were disqualified for opposing the law, which gives mainland China sweeping powers in Hong Kong.
- Several people have been arrested under the new law, mostly for displaying pro-democracy banners.
The 12 candidates said they were disqualified for opposing the national security law, which gives mainland China sweeping powers in Hong Kong. The national security law also was made law a day earlier when a special police unit enforce the law to arrest four students in the first planned operation of its kind, targeting government critics.
The U.S. and Australia issued a joint statement on Tuesday reiterating their support for “the people of Hong Kong to be able to elect Legislative Council representatives via a genuinely free and fair election, which is credible and peaceful, on September 6”.
With the firewall between Hong Kong and the mainland now broken, the city's status as a global hub buttressed by the rule of law is also deteriorating. Senior Hong Kong government officials say foreign banks are shuttering their accounts overseas. People in the city of 7 million have deleted social media accounts and emigrated overseas, controversial books have been taken off the library shelves and a famous professor, Benny Tai of the University of Hong Kong, has been fired for his support of the democracy movement. The September elections are seen as one of the last vestiges legislature last vestiges of democracy in Hong Kong.
“This is not the end of the disqualifications”, said Fernando Cheung, a pro-democracy lawmaker. “Leaving Hong Kong, you leave behind a lot of connections: your family, your friends, the cat that you rescued on the street. But also it really gives you an opportunity to bear a huge responsibility to speak up for Hong Kong people”, he said.
“And it is still likely that the election will be delayed for one year, further undermining the efforts of the opposition camp in its primary election. By completely shunning a legitimate way for people to express their discontent towards the current regime, it forces the people to turn underground or leave the territory”.