CCP fired 4 Hong Kong elected pro-democratic legislators!
Updated: Nov 19, 2020
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) controlled National Peoples Congress (NPC), answering a request by HK Chief Executive Carrie Lam, on 11 November 2020 disqualified four 'moderate' pro-democratic legislators from the 'provisional' Legislative Council (LegCo).
As they had threatened to do, on that same November day, 15 pro-democratic legislators resigned from the 'provisional' LegCo leaving only 2 legislators from the pro-democratic camp as the only opposition to CCP and the HK government.
HK people have been told that elections will be held for the 'postponed' LegCo on 5 September 2021, 12 months out from the originally scheduled election date.
HK under the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and HK government lead by Chief Executive Carrie Lam is a feudal Chinese plutocracy - HK is not a democracy! In Hong Kong absolute power absolutely corrupts!
HK's Chief Executive and Legislative Council (LegCo) do NOT have universal and equal suffrage elections - which is one of the HK protesters 5 demands!
HK's illegitimate current Legislative Council (LegCo) does not meet its international obligations for democratic practices (including ICCPR and UDHR) and is the cause of many of HK's problems: Most significant is the use of 'Functional Constituencies' which ensures that the minority HK elites are assigned more than one vote per person, thereby retaining their rule over the majority of HK people.
HK's District Councils, which already have universal and equal suffrage elections, won a landslide victory on 24 November 2019. Pro-democratic candidates now control the majority of seats in 17 of 18 districts.
We contend that CCP's loss in 2019 District Council elections and the reality that it could lose its control of LegCo in the scheduled 6 September 2020 elections triggered or quickened CCP to:
Enactment by CCP's National Peoples Congress (NPC) HK's National Security Law;
Postponement of LegCo elections until at least 5 September 2021 (if ever!);
The disqualification of 'unpatriotic' pro-democratic candidates and the silencing and subjugation of all HK Legislators
As it appears to the international community HK protests since June 2019 have been incredibly successful in the public unmasking of the real face of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Hong Kong (HK) protesters, who are the majority of voters in HK, uphold the Joint Declaration, HK's Constitution. Under this agreement between UK and China, HK people are guaranteed for 50 years after the British handover in 1997, until 2047, a high degree of autonomy, unchanged lifestyle, the British common law and an independent judiciary. China's Hong Kong policy of "One Country, Two Systems" was a model promulgated by CCP afterwards.
The world has been devastated by CCP creating coronavirus SARS-COV-2 and the deadly global pandemic disease it caused COVID-19 - CCP must be held accountable! Diseases like covid-19 are deadlier in non-democracies as China wrecks UN human rights.
It has become increasingly obvious to observers that Middle kingdom Emperor Xi Jinping assumes he is the ruler of the world!
The world's worst ever totalitarian regime CCP is getting more deperate and hence emboldened in its actions against HK protesters, and against pro-democrat lawmakers in the 'extended' Legislative Council (LegCo). Their next target is most likely to be the 24 November 2019 elected District Councillors!
This is happening despite the fact that the will of HK people has been agreed.
Finally, the UK government has made a clear statement on CCP's breaches of the Joint Declaration . It has announced that it plans to work with its allies to resolve these CCP breaches. It is now up to the international community to support HK's rule OF law, independent judiciary, democracy and human rights.
HK protesters are patiently abiding their time to rise up again - HK protesters and protests are not finished! People of Hong Kong make the place!
Our solution for HK is a MBC multi-option preferential referendum which can determine the will of the people. When the results of such a referendum are acted upon it would allow the Joint Declaration to continue as amended.
These UN letters to China on HK protests are unequivocal proof that CCP is not meeting its obligations, and that it continues to ignore them:
CCP, please answer this UN communication 6 October 2020 Statement by German Ambassador to UN from 39 countries.
Five Eyes say Beijing silencing critics in HK
RTHK 19 November 2020
Foreign ministers from the nations in the Five Eyes intelligence sharing group said on Wednesday China's imposition of new rules to disqualify elected legislators in Hong Kong appeared to be part of a campaign to silence critics and called on Beijing to reverse course.
"We urge the Chinese central authorities to re-consider their actions against Hong Kong’s elected legislature and immediately reinstate the Legislative Council members," foreign ministers from Australia, Britain, Canada, New Zealand and the United States said in a joint statement.
Hong Kong expelled four opposition members from its legislature last week after Beijing gave city authorities new powers to curb dissent. The move triggered mass resignations by Hong Kong's pro-democracy opposition lawmakers.
It also raised further alarm in the West about the level of Hong Kong's autonomy, promised under a "one country, two systems" formula when Britain ended its colonial rule and handed Hong Kong back to China in 1997.
"China’s action is a clear breach of its international obligations under the legally binding, UN-registered Sino-British Joint Declaration," the five countries said.
Britain now considers China has broken the Joint Declaration three times, including with national security legislation for Hong Kong introduced this year.
Washington has already imposed sanctions on Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam and other Chinese officials over the crackdown, and has warned of further steps.
Police in Hong Kong said they had arrested three former lawmakers on Wednesday morning over May and June incidents in which foul-smelling liquid was thrown in the city’s legislature, an act police said was intended to cause harm.
China denies curbing rights and freedoms in the global financial hub but authorities in Hong Kong and Beijing have moved swiftly to stifle dissent after anti-government protests flared in June last year and plunged the city into crisis. (Reuters)
UK Slams Beijing Over Ouster of Hong Kong Democratic Lawmakers
RFA 12 November 2020. Reported by RFA's Cantonese and Mandarin Services. Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.
The United Kingdom on Thursday hit out at China's disqualification of four pro-democracy members of Hong Kong's Legislative Council (LegCo), saying that the country is in breach of a 1984 treaty promising to protect the city's freedoms.
"Beijing’s imposition of new rules to disqualify elected legislators in Hong Kong constitutes a clear breach of the legally binding Sino-British Joint Declaration," Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said in a statement.
"China has once again broken its promises and undermined Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy."
Raab said the U.K. would stand with its allies to hold Beijing responsible for multiple violations of the U.N.-registered treaty governing the 1997 handover of Hong Kong to Chinese rule.
"This is the third time since 1997 that China has breached the legally-binding Joint Declaration," Raab said.
The first was with the cross-border arrest of Hong Kong bookseller and U.K. national Lee Bo, while the second was in June 2020 when Beijing introduced a draconian national security law criminalizing dissent and peaceful criticism of the authorities.
"The U.K. will stand up for the people of Hong Kong, and call out violations of their rights and freedoms," Raab said.
A Nov. 11 decision by the standing committee of China's National People's Congress (NPC) resulted in the expulsion of Dennis Kwok, Alvin Yeung, Kwok Ka-ki and Kenneth Leung from LegCo, on grounds that they didn't meet the requirements laid down by the NPC.
Raab said the NPC decision was "part of a pattern apparently designed to harass and stifle all voices critical of China’s policies."
He said the new rules for disqualification used vague criteria open to wide-ranging interpretation.
The lawmakers' ouster prompted 15 pro-democracy lawmakers to hand in their resignations to the authorities in protest on Thursday, as resigning Democratic Party lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting hung a banner outside the LegCo chamber calling Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam "the scourge of Hong Kong's people," and "guilty for a thousand years," in an ironic echo of a phrase used by Chinese officials to describe Hong Kong's last colonial governor, Chris Patten.
'Not quitting the fight'
Pro-democracy camp convenor Wu Chi-wai said he hoped the mass resignation would show the world how Beijing had destroyed Hong Kong's status as a separate jurisdiction under its "one country, two systems" pledge.
Lam Cheuk-ting warned that the mass resignation will mean that the Hong Kong government can now pass any legislation it likes, and that only one voice will now be permitted, whether it be in LegCo, the education sector or the civil service.
Council Front's Claudia Mo, who submitted her resignation wearing a black shirt and carrying a yellow umbrella in support of recent protest movements in Hong Kong, said she was sad to be going, but also relieved.
"Relieved in thesense that the council, at the moment, is very painful to deal with because it’s so full of fake speeches and so full of fake sincerity," Mo said in comments reported by government broadcaster RTHK.
"The pro-Beijing types will just pass anything that the government wants to pass ... I keep saying, it’s okay to lose but it’s not okay to quit. We are quitting the legislature only at this juncture, we are not quitting Hong Kong’s democracy fight,” she said.
'Rubber stamp' legislature
Benedict Rogers, chief executive of the U.K.-based rights group Hong Kong Watch, said it was a "dark day" for democracy in Hong Kong.
"The move by Beijing to disqualify four pro-democracy lawmakers and the passing of a resolution that would purge pro-democracy voices from the Legislative Council ... will turn Hong Kong’s legislature into little more than a rubber stamp comprised of pro-Beijing acolytes, entirely unrepresentative of the people of Hong Kong," Rogers said in a statement on the group's website.
"Now that Hong Kong’s highest democratic body has been reduced to little more than a puppet-show, it will fix its sights on the judiciary," he warned.
Former governor Lord Patten of Barnes also criticized the move.
"This is yet another example of the Chinese Communist Party trampling on what is left of democracy in Hong Kong," Patten said. "Once again, Xi Jinping's regime has demonstrated its total hostility to democratic accountability, and those who wish to stand up for it."
Beijing's Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office (HKMAO) of the State Council said the mass resignation was yet another example of opposition lawmakers' "stubborn confrontation with the central government."
"It is a blatant challenge to the central authority and the authority of the Basic Law, and we severely condemn it," a HKMAO spokesman said in a statement, referring to the action as a "farce."
China Ousts Four Hong Kong Lawmakers, Prompting Mass Resignations
RFA 11 November 2020. Reported by Chan Chun-ho, Lau Siu-fung, Lu Xi, and Tseng Yat-yiu for RFA's Cantonese and Mandarin Services. Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.
Fifteen pro-democracy lawmakers announced their resignations from Hong Kong's Legislative Council (LegCo) on Tuesday in protest at the ouster of four of their colleagues following an edict from Beijing.
Chanting "Go Hong Kong!" and "We stand together!," the lawmakers held a joint press conference to announce their resignation, leaving just two opposition voices to face off against pro-China members of LegCo.
The move came after the Hong Kong government announced it was stripping Alvin Yeung, Kwok Ka-ki, and Dennis Kwok of the Civic Party, and Kenneth Leung from the Professional Commons party, of their LegCo seats following a decision by the standing committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) in Beijing.
The decision empowered the administration of chief executive Carrie Lam to summarily dismiss the four from LegCo, as they had "failed to meet the statutory requirements and conditions" expected under their oaths of allegiance.
Similar claims have been used to disqualify a number of pro-democracy candidates and to strip six pro-democracy members of their LegCo seats in recent years.
"The democratic camp has decided to stand together with all of our colleagues who have been disqualified," Democratic Party chair and pro-democracy camp convenor Wu Chi-wai told the news conference.
"We will not be discouraged, and we will stick to our beliefs because we know that the fight for democracy isn't going to be won overnight," he said. "We are sure to find a new path and will continue to move forward on the path of democratic resistance."
Yeung told reporters that the city looked set to take a "bumpy, difficult, and challenging road," while Dennis Kwok linked the decision to expel him to filibustering during his chairmanship of LegCo's powerful House Committee, from which he was physically ousted in May and replaced with a pro-China chairperson.
"They threatened to disqualify me, they criticized me," Kwok said in comments reported by government broadcaster RTHK. "I said that if observing due process, protecting the systems and functions, and fighting for democracy and human rights leads means that I am disqualified, it would be my honor, and I say the same today."
He said the summary ouster of the four without even going through the courts was in breach of Hong Kong's mini-constitution, the Basic Law, and a failure to observe due process.
No distinction left
Kwok Ka-ki said the move marked an end to any meaningful distinction between Hong Kong, which was promised the continuation of its traditional freedoms until at least 2047, and the rest of mainland China.
"As of today, one country, two systems no longer exists," he said.
Ma Ngok, politics professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), said the decision had set a precedent for the authorities to disqualify any LegCo member they don't like in future.
"Previous disqualifications went through a certain legal process, but this time, they disqualified four people after Carrie Lam made the request, and the NPC standing committee pronounced some rules and principles," Ma told RFA.
"This is very serious, because we know that the central government can now disqualify elected LegCo members whenever it likes," he said.
[Carrie] Lam told reporters after the decision was announced: "We could not allow members of a Legislative Council who have been judged in accordance with the law that they could not fulfill the requirement and the prerequisite for serving on the Legislative Council to continue to operate in the Legislative Council."
She said her administration had "sought a decision" from the NPC standing committee to enable the lawmakers' ouster, but denied LegCo would now only function to rubber stamp Hong Kong government proposals.
"That certainly would not happen," she said.
The ruling Chinese Communist Party's representative office in Hong Kong said the city must be governed by patriots, state news agency Xinhua reported.
"The legal effect and authority of relevant decisions brook no challenge," the office was quoted as saying.
"To be a patriot loving both the country and Hong Kong is a political ethic that must be firmly upheld by everyone in public office," it said.
More sanctions seen
The ouster of the four lawmakers came as the U.S. announced it was targeting more Chinese and Hong Kong officials for sanctions linked to the crackdown on dissent in the city.
Hong Kong Baptist University politics professor Kenneth Chan said the latest decision would encourage other countries to follow suit, and for the U.S. to step up sanctions.
"By using such measures to eliminate freedom and democracy in Hong Kong, they are giving ammunition to governments around the world that are already concerned about Hong Kong," Chan told RFA on Tuesday. "In the case of the United States, I believe it will only consolidate bipartisan support ... and there will be more sanctions against Hong Kong officials."
In Washington, the Hong Kong Democracy Council lobby group said the NPC and Lam had now officially announced the demise of Hong Kong's political system.
"With today's vote and the immediate disqualifications of four opposition lawmakers, the CCP is telling the world that, not only do they fully control the chief executive and her administration, but they are now extending that absolute control over the legislature," the group said in a statement posted on Facebook.
"There will be zero tolerance for opposition voices in this version of Hong Kong," it said.
Statement of the Hong Kong Bar Association on the Decision of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government (“Government”) to Disqualify Four Legislators
1. On Wednesday, 11 November 2020, the Government announced that four legislators are to be disqualified. This decision was purportedly made on the basis that these four legislators, having earlier been considered by the returning officers of the now postponed seventh term of the Legislative Council (“Legco”) to have failed to comply with the nomination criteria for that election, should not be allowed to remain in office for the current, extended, sixth term of Legco effective from 30 July 2020.
2.The legal basis for the Government’s decision was also purportedly to be pursuant to the Decision of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (“NPCSC”) made on 11 November 2020 (“Decision”) - which was resolved just minutes before the Government had announced the disqualification of the four legislators. It now appears that it was the Government that had sought the Decision precisely with a view to disqualifying the four legislators.
3.Article 79 of the Basic Law sets out the circumstances under which a legislator may be disqualified from office. The Government’s approach to seek and implement the Decision introduces an entirely different way to disqualify a legislator outside Article 79 but without due process. Further, the Government has sought to apply the Decision retroactively and base its decision to disqualify the four legislators entirely on the decisions of the relevant returning officers who, at the relevant time (July 2020), were not even required to deal with questions relating to the present extended term of Legco.
4.Legal certainty has been greatly impaired.
5.As a result of the Government’s approach and with the Decision, the role of executive officials - the returning officers in this case - have been effectively and illegitimately elevated to being decisions of constitutional importance when those decisions have not been reviewed by the Courts nor are they free from controversy.
6.It is a basic tenet of the Rule of Law that no person shall be deprived of their rights without due process. The entirety of the Government’s approach in stripping the four legislators who have been chosen by the electorate in their respective functional or geographical constituencies of their right to continue in office, determined exclusively by the executive, and without affording them an opportunity to be heard, violates the basic principles of fairness and due process inherent in the Rule of Law.
Dated: 12 November 2020
The purge of democratic lawmakers in Hong Kong underlines China’s disregard for international law
HK Watch 13 November 2020 Johnny Paterson
The latest move by Beijing is such a flagrant breach of the Sino-British Joint Declaration that the UK needs to ensure there are consequences!
There are few better case studies of how democracy dies than Hong Kong. In the last 20 years, Beijing has steadily taken control of the key levers of power: the economy, the media, the executive branch. This year, the government decided that it was time for full-blown authoritarianism.
Covid-19 restrictions have provided a pretext to stamp out peaceful assembly. With the city’s chief executive little better than a puppet, the national security law was introduced to eradicate the city’s autonomy. This week, mass disqualification of democratic lawmakers served to rubber-stamp the new single-party status quo.
Two years ago, Hong Kong touted itself as “Asia’s world city”. Now the world looks with pity at a city in decline. A mass exodus should not surprise us.
Hong Kong’s politics brutally expose the fragility of democratic norms and institutions. For all Beijing’s talk of multilateralism, it also shows that the Chinese Communist Party no longer cares about the facade of complying with international law. This has been made clearer by the latest developments in China’s trade war with Australia, which is in direct violation of its free trade agreement and obligations under the World Trade Organisation.
The latest move by Beijing, to unilaterally purge Hong Kong's legislative council of democrats, is such a flagrant breach of the Sino-British Joint Declaration that the UK needs to ensure there are consequences.
Two courses of action should be on the table: first, the UK should be looking at whether there is any case that might be pursued at the International Court of Justice. This is a clear violation of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, and so there may be a case to be made.
Second, the developments strengthen the case that has been made by the British parliament for applying Magnitsky or other sanctions against the officials responsible for Hong Kong’s turn to authoritarianism.
Taking a step back, this is another reminder of the fact that one should be sceptical of good-faith agreements made with the Chinese Communist Party, and that a key foreign policy priority for the UK government should be considering areas where we are strategically dependent on Beijing and seeking to mitigate this.
Writing recently, Chris Patten observed that from Xinjiang to Hong Kong, and from Covid to the South China Sea, Beijing’s foreign policy proves that “one thing is clear: the world cannot trust Xi’s dictatorship.” Xi Jinping has explicitly stated that “western constitutional democracy” and “universal human rights” are ideas which must be overcome if China is to emerge as a great power. The Communist Party has set itself against western values. We should be wary of giving them too much leverage.
This is a question of national security, values and British interests. As the House of Commons gets ready to debate the government’s long-awaited National Security and Investment Bill, the British government needs to urgently audit areas of weakness. There is growing awareness that the policies of the Cameron “golden era” have left the UK exposed. Bloomberg recently reported that the Chinese have participated in deals worth $70bn (£53.2bn) in the UK. Many of these focus on key industries, such as energy, as well as real estate. Our universities are reliant on Chinese student funding, and Hong Kong students are reportedly facing intimidation. The exposure of UK-based firms in Hong Kong is also an issue of concern: for example, HSBC makes 70 per cent of its profits out of Hong Kong, its Asia hub; they are treading a tightrope.
All of this means that China policy can no longer be fragmented between the Foreign Office focusing on diplomacy and the Treasury concerned about the UK’s financial relationship with China. It touches defence, home affairs, BEIS (business, energy and industrial strategy), trade and education. The Cabinet Office should convene a working group to coordinate action and commit greater resources to identifying where the threats lie. The new Biden administration in the US has already explicitly stated that it is looking to take multilateral action in response to China; here is an opportunity for Britain.
Events in Hong Kong point to a new world order. In 1990, Deng Xiaoping, China’s former paramount leader, summed up Beijing’s approach to foreign policy with the words “hide your strength and bide your time”. In 2017, Xi rejected this principle and adopted a new slogan: “It is time for us to take centre stage.” His foreign minister said that China would become “the most active and positive force in global governance”.
Tearing up the Sino-British Joint Declaration is the outworking of this new assertive foreign policy. Xi’s vision includes a wholescale rejection, or reimagining, of international norms. It is the greatest contemporary foreign policy challenge to liberal internationalism. We need to take it seriously.
Johnny Patterson is policy director of Hong Kong Watch – an NGO promoting human rights, freedoms and rule of law in Hong Kong.