Beijing’s onslaught against Hong Kong’s freedoms and liberties continues.
The United States strongly condemns the “patriotism” resolution passed by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee on November 11, which disqualified four members of Hong Kong’s Legislative Council.
The resolution allows Hong Kong’s executive to expel lawmakers deemed to be advocating the city’s independence, colluding with foreign forces or threatening national security, without having to go through the courts, according to press reports.
This move fundamentally undermines the right of the people of Hong Kong to choose their elected representatives as guaranteed by the Basic Law and further exposes Beijing’s blatant disregard for its international commitments under the Sino-British Joint Declaration.
U.S. national security adviser Robert O’Brien said the Chinese Communist Party, or CCP, has “flagrantly violated its international commitments” and the United States will “continue to identify and sanction those responsible for extinguishing Hong Kong’s freedom.”
In June, the CCP passed a draconian national security law in Hong Kong, which punishes anything Beijing considers subversion, secessionism, terrorism or collusion with foreign forces with up to life in prison. Since then, Beijing has eliminated nearly all of Hong Kong’s democratic processes and many of the legal traditions that have been the bedrock of Hong Kong’s autonomy, stability, and prosperity.
“Once again,” said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a statement, “the CCP’s twisted vision of patriotism is a pretext to stifle freedom and the call for democracy.”
The United States will continue to work with its allies and partners around the world to champion the rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong and call out Beijing’s abject failure to honor its commitments.
“We will hold accountable the people responsible for these actions and policies that erode Hong Kong’s autonomy and freedoms,” declared Secretary Pompeo. “We stand with the disqualified pan-Democratic lawmakers, the pro-democracy lawmakers who resigned in protest, and the people of Hong Kong.”