The main democratic institutions under China have indeed been blocked by President Xi Jinping, giving a warning to Joe Biden that there is no pressure to accept the Communist Party’s disagreement.
On Wednesday, China’s top legislative body adopted a resolution allowing the disqualification of any Hong Kong legislature deemed not to be sufficiently loyal. Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s administration promptly removed four senators, causing the remaining 15 members of the 70-seat Legislative Council to resign en masse.
“This move shows that the dictatorship has come down to Hong Kong and that the Chinese Communist Party can eradicate all opposing voices in the legislature,” said Fernando Cheung, one of the legislators, to Bloomberg News. “There is no more power separation. There’s no more ‘one country, two systems,’ so Hong Kong is no longer, as we know it.”
The resolution is the latest indication of China’s resolve to maintain disagreement following last year’s demonstrations against the government seeking substantive semi-autonomous election. Since then Beijing has introduced a range of steps to assert better control of Hong Kong. In the first place, they are attacking democratic campaigners, who are taking the streets.
According to Radio Television Hong Kong, lawmakers started to offer their resignation on Thursday. In the last summer marches, Claudia Mo, a popular pro-democratic speaker, turned up with the resignation to wear a black T-shirt — a demonstrate clothes — and a yellow umbrella, the emblem of the Occupy protests in 2014.
China has also demonstrated its contempt for the Legislative Council, bypassing it by introducing in June sweeping national security laws dismantling the structure of one country two systems,” which attracted investors at the financial hub for several years. The party of seven states accused China, while the government of Trump revoked much of the city’s special rights and sanctioned the territorial control of more than ten senior officials, of breaching its terms of handover with Britain.
No street demonstrations, largely dissipated in the face of pandemic social distancing constraints and the implementation of national security regulations, encountered Peking’s new campaign.
Biden’s victory provides an opportunity to re-establish ties among the two biggest economies in the world, despite former vice president Xi being known as the tyrant” and vowing to “fully execute” laws punishing Beijing for eroding the freedom of Hong Kong. But on Wednesday, China’s change does not leave him with many options of relaxation, especially provided that the town has long since sat at the junction of Western democracy and Communist rule.
In a statement released on Wednesday night, Western Governments, including the UK and Australia, condemned drive-by China and US National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien warned of further sanctions. However, in Hong Kong, China’s strong Liaison Office issued a statement claiming the resignation of the opposition is not going to change the mind of the government.
On Thursday, China called “wanton allegations” of foreign government criticism and declared it common for government employees to commit allegiance in other countries.