A Chinese official has informed the parliament in Hong Kong that only “patriots” will rule there in future. Their most important task: the “improvement of the electoral system”.
The People’s Republic of China only wants to allow “patriots” to hold leadership positions in Hong Kong. This was announced by the head of the Hong Kong and Macau Special Administrative Regions office, Xia Baolong. To be patriotic is to “love the People’s Republic of China,” Xia added. The leadership in Beijing is evidently moving further away from the principle of “one country – two systems”, which was agreed for a period of 50 years before the transfer of the former British crown colony in 1997.
Xia delivered his speech two weeks before the annual session of the Hong Kong Parliament, which is already largely controlled by Beijing. “The most important and urgent task in ensuring the rule of the patriots is to improve the relevant systems, especially the important electoral system,” said Xia.
Beijing has been cracking down on Hong Kong since 2019
Although Hong Kong was never a democracy in the full sense of the word, a small and dynamic opposition was able to develop there, which won some local elections. After widespread and often violent protests in 2019, Beijing cracked down on it. At the last annual meeting of the Chinese National People’s Congress, a national security law was passed for Hong Kong.
After Xia’s speech, it is to be expected that China will no longer accept opposition candidates in future elections in Hong Kong. Xia said the authorities need to “close loopholes” through which “anti-Chinese troublemakers” enter politics.
A year ago, China removed the then head of the office responsible for the Hong Kong and Macau Special Administrative Areas, Zhang Xiaoming, and instead entrusted Xia Baolong with the task.