China condemns Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmakers
by Leigh Jones
Posted 11/12/20, 04:03 pm
Beijing on Thursday called a mass resignation of Hong Kong lawmakers an attempt to provoke foreign interference and a “blatant challenge to the power of the central government.” After China removed four lawmakers it deemed a threat to national security, the other 15 pro-democracy members of Hong Kong’s Legislative Council announced they were stepping down in protest.
Why did they resign? The lawmakers say Beijing is finding excuses to silence opposition as the Communist government consolidates power in the former British colony. Under a sweeping national security law adopted earlier this year, Hong Kong’s chief executive has the power to remove lawmakers not deemed sufficiently patriotic. Hong Kong retained its semi-autonomous status after Britain returned the city to China in 1997, but Beijing has slowly chipped away basic freedoms in the territory, increasing pressure on anyone opposing closer ties with the mainland.
Dig deeper: Read Erica Kwong’s report on Hong Kong’s pro-democracy lawmakers.
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Leigh is acting managing editor for WORLD Radio. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate who spent six years as a newspaper reporter in Texas before joining WORLD. Leigh also co-wrote Infinite Monster: Courage, Hope, and Resurrection in the Face of One of America's Largest Hurricanes. She resides with her husband and daughter in Houston, Texas.