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Hong Kong pro-democracy legislators hand in resignations

Hong Kong pro-democracy legislators hand in resignations”

In recent months, Beijing has increasingly clamped down on Hong Kong, despite promising when it took control in 1997 to leave the territory's more open legal and economic systems intact for 50 years until 2047.

About two-thirds of lawmakers in Hong Kong's legislature on Friday pledged to fulfill their duties of monitoring and improving the government's governance and to work with the people of Hong Kong to tide over the hard times the city is facing.

The council also included three newly elected council members, Davyd Wong, Michelle Tsoi Wing-tak and Janet Pang Ho-yan.

Pro-democracy lawmakers see the dismissal of the four as another bid by Beijing to suppress liberal democratic values in the region.

"Hong Kong, from today onward, can no longer tell the world that there is "one country, two systems", Wu said.

Pandemonium erupted in Hong Kong's parliament this week as 15 pro-democracy lawmakers resigned in protest after government officials dismissed four of their colleagues on alleged national security grounds, yet another step in a broader crackdown from Beijing to quash dissent. They were previously banned from running for the seventh-term legislature as returning officers found them not to be upholding the Basic Law.

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The UK on Thursday declared China to be in formal breach of the Sino-British Joint Declaration, a UN-registered treaty meant to preserve Hong Kong's freedoms after the former British colony was returned to Beijing rule under the Communist Party.

Adams said Britain had summoned China's ambassador, Liu Xiaoming, to register its concerns.

The EU's foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, said China's moves "constitute a further severe blow to political pluralism and freedom of opinion in Hong Kong".

The mass resignation left Hong Kong's 70-member Legislative Council without any opposition legislators.

Anyone who criticises China and travels to Hong Kong is potentially at risk of arrest under the new law.

Earlier in the year, the four lawmakers were barred from seeking reelection in a vote originally scheduled for September.



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