CCP's unlawful destruction of HK's District Councils and democracy
Updated: Aug 9
This is the largely untold story of the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) and Hong Kong (HK) government's current unlawful destruction of HK's 'District Councils', ending HK's only democratic 'universal and equal suffrage elections' that meet UN obligations. In stark contrast to CCP and HK government, HK protesters uphold the Joint Declaration and the rule OF law.
HK's District Councils are grassroots democratic institutions that all HK people interface with. The arrogant and ignorant attitudes of pro-CCP District Councillors who were elected from 1999-2019 resulted in decades of unresolved issues within local communities : It is why so many local community members across all sectors and age groups joined HK protests. With CCP's recent destruction of District Councils the old pro-CCP guard will attempt to return to power, and will then only create the same old issues again : Except this time HK protesters have experience and know what to do!
In her support of CCP's annexation of HK and breach of UN international treaty the Joint Declaration, HK's Chief Executive Carrie Lam (CLam) has committed treason and other crimes against humanity for which she and others must be held accountable.
WTPOHK senses that this story has not been fully understood, told, nor desseminated : We hope with this blog we can do service to all HKers who have been gravely and negatively impacted by the loss of democracy in HK's District Councils.
Our objective in this blog is to raise awareness and to create discussions on HK's District and Legislative Councils, and the need in HK for long overdue democratic political reform. CCP's has breached its UN international treaty obligations including 'universal and equal suffrage elections' and HK's Joint Declaration.
History of HK's Urban and District Councils
For the first time since the 1997 handover, and since the 24 November 2019 elections, 17/18 HK District Councils are under the control of pro-democratic Councillors : These Councillors have been successfully practicing grassroots democracy to resolve decades old local community problems created by ousted pro-CCP Councillor's discrimination against HK's pro-democratic citizens. Then in 2021, in a calculated move to recapture the power they had lost, CCP and HK government destroyed HK's District Councils.
Prior to being called 'District Councils', the colonial British government from 1883 until 1997 handover to China used the term 'Urban Council'.
In 1973 the Urban Council was reorganised under non-government control and became financially autonomous. Originally composed mainly of ex officio and appointed members, by the time the Urban Council was disbanded following the 1997 handover to China, it was composed entirely of members elected by universal suffrage.
After WWII the CCP told the British they would not accept HK becoming a democracy. HK has never been a democracy despite the UN international treaty ICCPR being signed and ratified by the British before the 1997 handover and China being a member of the UN.
The incoming 1 July 1997 illegitimate, unelected, 'Provisional Legislative Council' enacted unlawful legislation and changes which stripped away most of the political powers and work of the Urban Council, handing them over to the HK government, before renaming them as 'District Councils' in 1999.
CCP's hollowing out of HK's rule OF law since 1997 was clearly aimed at preparing for what later became its annexation of HK 0n 1 July 2020 using its arbitrary rule BY law 'national security law'.
CCP is a nuclear armed, heavily militarized religious cult. Being religious zealots, CCP is divisive and REFUSES to recognize or deal with anyone who does not support them and their views ! CCP's sole aim is to remain in power in China no matter what happens : CCP is a virus that creates and spreads destructive viruses.
One of CCP's biggest HK lies has always been its policy of 'one country, two systems' - which it had hoped to use to reel in Taiwan. According to CCP, HK still has a 'high degree of autonomy' under its 'one country, two systems' policy - hence CCP ludicrously claims it is not directly involved in HK politics!
Instead of formally opening a CCP political party in HK, CCP has so far funded and supported local HK pro-CCP (i.e. pro-Beijing) political parties such as the 'Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong' (DAB ) to do their dirty work for them. Most likely HK's political future will involve only one political party, CCP, with 'patriotic' mainland Chinese elites firmly in control over all local HK Chinese : i.e. all HK Chinese would have no say, status, nor face in their own territory.
By the end of 1970's 2/3rds of HK people were refugees from mainland China who had escaped from CCP. Today the majority of HK people - roughly 2/3rds - are pro-democrats. Because of their anti-CCP political views and affiliation with pro-democratic parties since 1997, the HK majority who have been participating in the latest HK protest movement have been unlawfully excluded from their UN human rights to 'participate in public life.'
Since 1999, until the November 2019 landslide pro-democrats win in District Council elections, almost always the majority of District Councillors were pro-CCP party members doing mostly public relations - e.g. 'wine and dine' - for CCP and HK government. Rarely, if ever, were Councillors dealing with the real issues of HK local communities. During these years there was little, if any, oversight on the plans, actions and finances of pro-CCP District Councillors.
Since 1997 there was a lot of pent up frustration amongst pro-democratic citizens, who until the November 2019 District Council election win by pro-democratic candidates, were unable to effect real changes needed in their local communities : Mostly this was because they were not CCP supporters!
In 2019 HK protesters' action in support of local communities resulted in real and significant changes, which significantly boosted the number of HK people supporting the HK protesters and their 5 demands to the government. For example, residents of Sham Shui Po protested alongside HK protesters against the police use of tear gas. Pro-democratic District Councillors strengthened their support base by empowering local communities across HK.
Examples of local communities' problem include ongoing issues of cross-border 'parallel traders' purchasing from shops in the border town of Sheung Shui, illegal loudspeaker karaoke music in a public park in Tuen Mun, mainland Chinese day trip tourists in the fishing village of Sai Kung, etc. Please read our blog 'Ending the Spending'.
2019 District Council elections
HK's 24 November 2019 District Council elections, the only democratic 'universal and equal suffrage elections' in HK, are at the very heart of the decades long ongoing fight for democracy, human rights and the rule OF law in HK, and by extension, in China.
The first HKSAR Chief Executive in 2003 failed to enact a Basic Law article 23 national security law.
In February 2019 HK Chief Executive Carrie Lam (CLam) proposed 'extradition legislation' - the result was continuous mass peaceful protests from June 2019 until January 2020 when the Wuhan novel coronavirus COVID-19 intervened. Today HK people are still protesting!
In September 2019 CLam admitted 'havoc I caused is unforgiveable'. Instead of resigning she stayed on and caused even more havoc which helped unmask CCP for the world to see the real face of their totalitarianism and nationalist interests!
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and Hong Kong (HK) government with their nationalist fear mongering, had since June 2019 thrown everything, including police sieges of Chinese University and HK Polytechnic University, against HK anti-extradition legislation protesters. Their aim was to scare HK people away from voting against CCP in the November 2019 District Council elections.
In effect, HK's 2019 District Council elections were a public referendum on CCP and its HK government.
HK protester's pro-democrat candidates won 85% of seats (388/452) controlling 17/18 districts : Since the 1997 handover to China this was the biggest defeat CCP had suffered in HK politics! At first CCP and the HK government were in denial of their losses!
By the November 2019 District Council elections all CCP and HK government action had become increasingly ineffective : In their election defeat CCP received a major public drubbing from HK people - CCP got from voters exactly what they deserved!
HK protesters had supported 2019 District Council candidates promoting their '5 demands'. The election results demonstrated the 'will' of HK people and gave a clear statement about what course of action HK people wanted from their government : However, CCP and HK government refused to acknowledge and listen to the will of HK people!
The result of losing the 2019 District Council elections shook CCP and the HK government to their core. To CCP 'face' is everything - Emperor Xi Jinping had been publicly 'slapped' on his face in front of the whole world!
Like Singapore and China, HK is a feudal Chinese plutocracy which is run for the sole benefit of the Emperor. HK has never been a democracy : Under the Joint Declaration HK for 50 years from 1997 was meant to have the right to a high degree of autonomy, unchanged lifestyle, the common law, an independent judiciary and final adjudication.
The will of HK people is currently NOT the authority of HK government as it must be under UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 20.3 "The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures."
HK people, who still today uphold the Joint Declaration and the rule OF law, have since the 1 July 1997 British handover to China demanded that the CCP and HK government meets all of its UN obligations. For example, ICCPR HK 1997 local legislation 'HK Bill of Rights Ordinance' Article 21 "..(b) to vote and to be elected at genuine periodic elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret ballot, guaranteeing the free expression of the will of the electors."
HK's current Legislative Council (LegCo) is illegitimate : LegCo practices unequal voting benefiting the HK elite minority and must be closed and reformed to meet HK's UN obligations.
Ultimately CP had to face reality that it had lost the support of the vast majority of HK people, and most likely in the upcoming September 2020 Legislative Council (LegCo) elections CCP would lose its political control over HK.
On 6 June 2020 the majority of District Councillors rejected CCP's 'national security law' for HK! The majority of HK people are represented by District Councillors in HK's only democratic body, and they had lawfully expressed their will rejecting CCP's NSL law. To uphold the Joint Declaration and the rule of law, CCP and HK government must therefore cancel this draconian law!
Instead of upholding the Joint Declaration and the rule OF law by cooperating together with the majority of HK people, CCP - just like they did in Tiananmen Square on 4 June 1998 - used 'might over right'! CCP knee-jerked and used its 'nuclear option' by annexing HK on 1 July 2020 using its unconstitutional 'national security law'.
For CCP using its arbitrary rule BY law, the 'nuclear' fallout poisoning of everyone and everything in HK and beyond is still far from over, especially internationally!
CCP and HK government's unlawful destruction of HK's democracy and 2019 District Councils
NSL is not a security law - it kills freedom of speech!
In July 2020, by enacting HK's 'national security law' (NSL) CCP halted the lawful, development and natural freedom of HK people - as it did in China's Tiananmen Square on 4 June 1989! HK's NSL law is being used to scare and coerce everyone : It is not a security law - it kills freedom of speech!
So far two Final Court of Appeal (FCA) Non-Permanent Judges have resigned and left the bench. The democratic world is closely watching events in HK.
WTPOHK's view is that HK has no rule OF law, it only has CCP's arbitrary rule BY law forced upon it by the 'national security law'.
In 2021 CCP, CLam and her HK government are now even more despised and unacceptable to the majority of HK people. To say her government is "distrusted" is a major understatement.
In HK and China there is an ongoing state orchestrated drive for 'stability' using coercion as a means of torture caused by the structural violence of CCP's feudal Chinese plutocracy : i.e. if you want 'prosperity' then you must accept and support CCP's actions for 'stability' which include arbitrary disappearances, murder, Tiananmen massacre, COVID-19 pandemic source and spreading, Xinjiang genocide, etc.
COVID-19 as CCP's smokescreen
Since February 2020, under the smokescreen of COVID-19 and W.H.O.'s 'IHR' global pandemic regulations HK's 599J social distancing regulations, CCP and the HK government remain unlawfully in control of HK people by denying them their UN human rights. These include freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of association, freedom of the Press and the right to peaceful protest.
Still today, despite having few new cases, HK has a social distance gathering restriction of only four people which is designed to stop protests - this is unsustainable! Restaurants can hold banquets with up to 180 guests. MTR and buses can be crowded without restrictions. Police and other HK government employees can move around freely, and in numbers without being ticketed for a social distancing offence.
HK protests stopped in January 2020 because HK protesters wanted to keep their health and because the heightened abuse and brutality of the police after six continuous months had taken its toll on their mental and physical health.
On 11-12 July 2020 thousands of HKers, many of whom had previously protested against CLAM's extradition bill, against police brutality and in support of the movement's '5 demands', took part in the 2020 pro-democracy electoral primary. This was about preparing for the upcoming September 2020 LegCo elections, to determine the candidates that HK people could choose, to win a majority and take control of LegCo. A staggering 600,000 eligible voters participated. Unsurprisingly the winners were the young generation of activists and politicians termed young 'localists' including Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and others.
According to UN special rapporteur's letters of 28 June 2019 (please see link below) HK people have their UN human rights to hold their own in-person or online elections including referendums, primaries and other types.
SCMP reported on 13 July 2020 CLam having said "If this so-called primary election's purpose is to achieve the ultimate goal of delivering what they called '35+' [lawmakers], with the objective of objecting or resisting every policy initiative of the HKSAR government, it may fall into the category of subverting the state power – one of the four types of offences under the national security law."
The subsequent arrest on 6 January 2021 of 53 pro-democrats, and further threats to HK voters amounts to State orchestrated torture and genocide. CCP has again used its NSL against ordinary citizens, this time to outlaw democracy!
For the CCP and HK government to deny HK people their human rights, their right to take part in the political process, and to then go on and arrest, prosecute and jail so many activists and politicians for what is standard acceptable practice in any democracy is simply mindboggling! CCP is in direct conflict with its UN international treaty obligations.
Legislative Council elections
The 6 September 2020 LegCo elections were postponed due to HK government's COVID-19 social distancing regulations. Despite other countries around the world still holding elections amidst the pandemic, HK only had a daily new COVID-19 case count in the single figures at the time.
CCP and HK government recently announced HK's December 2021 LegCo elections will reduce by half the number of geographic seats from 40 to 20, and an additional 40 'patriot' seats for the benefit of CCP! CCP has taken an already illegitimate LegCo and made it much worse!
Meanwhile, to keep the charade of a 'lawful' LegCo, CCP decided to use NPC to legitimise another 'Provisional Legislative Council' : There is no agreement or support within the Joint Declaration for a Provisional LegCo! The Basic Law says that lawmakers must be elected and because the last LegCo was disbanded in July 2020 at the end of a 4 year term the HK government was in a 'legal' bind of its own making.
Then, as requested by CLam, NPC hollowed out from LegCo four moderate democratic lawmakers. All remaining democrats in LegCo walked out leaving a LegCo without any opposition.
CCP and its HK government continues to aggressively pursue all leading democratic politicians and activists with arbitrary arrests and bogus charges. With their day to day operations shut down and bank accounts frozen, many democratic organisations in the SAR can no longer function.
It is unlikely that any pro-democratic candidates will run for election in the December 2021 LegCo elections and we predict that few HKers will vote.
Silencing the Press
RSF ranked CLam alongside other authoritarians including Emperor Xijinping as a 'press freedom predator'.
June 2021, in yet another round of silencing HK's pro-democratic Press, this time CCP focused on Jimmy Lai, his Christian beliefs and media company Apple Daily.
CCP's illegal takedown of Apple Daily is an arbitrary rule BY law attack by Emperor Xi Jinping on everyone's private property. The international business community recognizes CCP's 'nationalization' program in China and its global threat to the rules-based international order.
Destruction of District Councils is the end of HK's democracy for now
District Councils are the only 'universal and equal suffrage elections' in HK that comply with UN international treaty obligations. HK's LegCo elections are illegitimate.
Pro-democratic District Councillors are now being denied their rights, as representatives of the people, to meet HK government officials and to hold them accountable.
The HK government has decided all District Councillors must sign an Oath of allegiance to China (i.e. CCP) : This ignores the fact that the authority of the HK government is currently unlawfully not the will of HK people. Those Councillors who refuse to sign that oath will have to repay their salaries and other expenses - which could bankrupt some of them.
Roughly 200 District Councillors have resigned so far avoiding the threat of having to repay their salaries. All this points towards further erosion of UN human rights, democracy and governance in HK.
Five demands - not one less!
So far only ONE of the original anti-extradition HK protesters' 'five demands' has been met : the formal withdrawal of the proposed extradition bill.
HK protesters still insist that the remaining four demands must be met : The most important demand for most HK protesters is electoral reform of 'universal and equal suffrage elections' for the LegCo (next due in December 2021) and the Chief Executive (next due in March 2022).
HK protests 'state of play'
WTPOHK believes HK protests are growing and spreading. Unity is strong and building. Time is always on the side of truth, the rule OF law and justice! The state of HK protests is very good - just don't assume that street demonstrations are the only form of effective protest!
CCP and HK government's narratives that HK youth are black-clad, radicalized, violent terrorists is a barefaced-lie and an attempt to cover up the fact that CCP and HK government are in breach of UN international treaty obligations including the Joint Declaration, and supreme human right the"right to life", amongst others! Mr Leung Kin-Fai 梁健輝 , the man who recently stabbed a policeman before committing suicide by stabbing himself, was 50 years old and not wearing black.
The other narrative, much closer to the truth, is that CCP and those who claim authority in HK are despots, tyrants and criminals! They commit genocide. They break the law. They brutalise and threaten innocents. They ignore long-established conventions.
The international democratic alliances' response is most likely in large part due to CCP's sourcing and spreading of 2019 global pandemic Wuhan coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and the disease it causes COVID-19. It also likely to be a reponse to the increasing repression and loss of freedoms and human rights in China's Xinjiang, Tibet, Mongolia, HK and elsewhere. The response is part of a worldwide groundswell for CCP to be held accountable, for democratic nations to decouple from CCP, to bolster their own democracy and to support the people of China.
In its 2020 annexation of HK, CCP acting like a lunatic, hitched itself irrevocably onto the city, and then drove China over the cliff! Will it be a hard landing or a soft one?
Key issues :
+ In HK how long will there be this false 'stability' - derived from police brutality, a non-independent judiciary and an unconstitutional 'national security law' - until HK protests break out again in dysfunctional local communities where pro-democratic residents are once again unrepresented?
+ The HK police can not always be relied upon to resolve HK's ever growing political crisis of failing to meet UN international treaty obligations by use of threats and violence. The police, triads and some elements of the 'business' community are the core problem : Unaffordable housing, 20% population in poverty, massive gap between rich and poor, feudal Chinese plutocracy, governance failures, etc.
+ HK voters, upholding the Joint Declaration, legally voted and elected representative Councillors to the District Council and Legislative Council. It is a travesty for democracy that they have been, or are being, illegally purged by the totalitarian CCP and its HK government.
The current situation remains unacceptable to HK people and to all leading democracies. HK's local communities are fired up even more than ever. (Please read CLam comment below about being too 'busy' to fix district councils - her priority has instead been on their dismantling!).
Gai yau (add oil)!
An apple a day keeps the popo at bay!
'Govt has no time to fix district council meltdown: CE'
RTHK 20 July 2021
Chief Executive Carrie Lam on Tuesday admitted that the territory's district councils are no longer fully functional and representative after more than 200 members resigned, but said it is impossible to hold by-elections anytime soon to fill the vacant seats.
Some district councils have been left with only three members after an exodus of councillors this month amid rumours the government will seek financial compensation from any councillors disqualified under new oath-taking requirements.
Speaking to reporters ahead of the weekly Executive Council meeting, the CE said the government will be busy in the coming months organising the Election Committee subsector elections, the Legislative Council polls and the CE race.
“We do not feel there is sufficient room and time for another set of by-elections of this magnitude because of the number of seats involved,” she said.
Lam said she didn’t know whether district council by-elections would take place after a new government is inaugurated in July next year.
She added that the government has asked area committees and district officers under the Home Affairs Department to help handle community issues in the meantime.
For more background please read:
UN special rapporteurs unanswered letters of 28 June 2019 and 1 September 2020 to China (see below);
IPCC member Clifford Stott's comments that the action by police on 12 June 2019 framed HK's anti-extradition protest movement.
CCP please answer all of the following UN letters sent to you:
Mandates of the UN Special Rapporteur 28 June 2019 (On 12 June 2021 protest)
If you wish to gain a deeper understanding, our related blogs are listed here for you to read and share:
Arrests of 53 pro-democrats and threats to HK voters amounts to State torture and genocide
2019 Hong Kong District Council elections
Hong Kongers Break Beijing’s Delusions of Victory
On a Roll at the Poll
CCP's illegal takedown of HK's District Councils
District Councils and their work
Ending the Spending
Protect District Councils: Hong Kong's only universal and equal suffrage elections
HK government's COVID-19 response = mass surveillance = data privacy & human rights violations
HK's Court of Public Opinion
Communist HK's illegitimate Legislative Council
612 Hong Kong is still revolting
RFA 19 July 2021 'Beijing Sends Hong Kong's Political System 'Back to The 1950s': Analysts'
RTHK 17 July 2021 'Govt has no time to fix district council meltdown: CE'
RTHK 16 July 2021 'Mass resignations have crippled district councils'
Nikkei Asia 13 July 2021 '230 elected pro-democrats quit Hong Kong local councils'
RTHK 11 July 2021 'DP chairman Lo Kin-hei resigns as district councillor'
RFA 8 July 2021 'Dozens of Pro-Democracy Politicians Resign in Hong Kong Ahead of Oath Requirement'