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What does it mean to be a patriot in modern China? Can someone love the country while opposing the ruling Communist Party?
Those questions could spell the end for any last vestiges of democracy in Hong Kong, as the government moved to introduce new requirements for public officials Tuesday, including that they swear loyalty oaths and embrace Beijing’s rule over the city.
Anyone who fails to take the oath — or is deemed to have done so in an insincere fashion — would be immediately disqualified from office and banned from running in elections for the next five years, Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Erick Tsang said.
Tsang said that under the proposed new oath requirements, anyone standing for election at any level must embrace national sovereignty and security, and embrace the fact that Hong Kong is an inalienable part of the People’s Republic of China.