The measure, passed by China’s highest legislative body on Wednesday, bars anyone from Hong Kong’s legislative council who supports independence, refuses to recognise Beijing’s sovereignty over Hong Kong, seeks help from “foreign countries or foreign forces to interfere in the affairs of the region” or commits “other acts that endanger national security”.
Minutes after the disqualifying legislation was announced by Chinese state media, the Hong Kong government released a statement disqualifying four pro-democracy legislators. Among those were the Civic party’s Alvin Yeung, Kwok Ka-ki and Dennis Kwok and Kenneth Leung of the Professionals Guild, lawmakers who had already been barred from running in legislative elections originally scheduled for September.
Beijing officials welcomed the announcement. “The political rule that Hong Kong must be governed by patriots shall be firmly guarded,” the Hong Kong liaison office said.
On Wednesday afternoon, the remaining 15 pro-democracy legislators appeared before the press, holding hands and chanting “Hong Kong add oil, together we stand!” (add oil is a translation of a Chinese expression of encouragement), and announced they would hand in their resignation letters on Thursday.