Monday, 7 November 2016

Another Dark Day to Remember

Last night's tense standoff between the police and protesters in Sai Ying Pun
Beijing has put another nail in the coffin of Hong Kong's core values as a city with rule of law, freedom of speech, freedom of expression.

Today it announced its decision on how oaths should be taken -- basically saying if lawmakers will not pledge loyalty to Beijing then they cannot take office, and they must also say the oath properly.

This decision effectively bars two young localist legislators from taking office, and as a result making the process of them democratically voted in null and void.

The NPC Standing Committee's announcement this morning
It also sets the precedent that if Beijing doesn't like a law that Hong Kong has, it will change it on its own whim and we have no choice in the matter even though we have the Basic Law that was promised to be enacted in the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984.

China cannot allow what it calls "separatist" lawmakers to take office, as it could incite similar ideas in places like Tibet and Xinjiang.

But on the other hand, Hong Kong is different from these two regions -- the city has its own rule of law and other core values from its days under the British. Paramount leader Deng Xiaoping promised "one country, two systems" -- what happened to that pledge?

In the protest march yesterday afternoon, not everyone supported Youngspiration's Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching when they mocked the oath, and said things like the People's Republic of "Chee-na", what some consider a derogatory term the Japanese used in World War II.

Yau Wai-ching and Sixtus Leung are barred from taking office
But the protesters do support the fact the pair were democratically elected and that they should be allowed to be sworn in. With Beijing's interference, Hong Kong people don't know where they stand anymore -- their institutions are crumbling around them and they feel their confidence in the city they grew up in and love is not the one they knew before.

It's another sad milestone in Hong Kong, like August 31, 2014, when Beijing effectively ruled out open nominations for chief executive, that their applications had to be approved by a pro-Beijing body before being able to run.

Is it any wonder Hong Kong people are frustrated and some resort to violent tactics like last night?

 

2 comments:

  1. Oh no! Sounds really grim :'(

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    Replies
    1. HI Airchild -- Yes! It's scary and sad... there isn't much more we can do about it which makes people even more desperate...

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