- Hong Kong government canceled the qualifications of four pro-democracy members last week.
- The statement called on Beijing and Hong Kong to restore the legislators' memberships.
- China has also violated the high degree of autonomy and freedom of speech that it had promised Hong Kong.
After the Hong Kong government canceled the qualifications of four pro-democracy legislators last week, the Foreign Ministers of the “Five Eyes Alliance” issued a statement on Wednesday, expressing concerns about China’s practices. They called on the Chinese government to stop destroying the rights and freedoms of Hong Kong people.
What’s more, American Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Foreign Ministers of Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom called on China to restore these legislators’ qualifications.
The foreign ministers of the member states of the “Five Eyes Alliance” issued a joint statement on the Hong Kong issue, expressing concern about the Chinese government’s disqualification from the Hong Kong Legislative Council. They wrote in the statement:
“After China implemented the National Security Law in Hong Kong and postponed the Legislative Council election originally scheduled for September, this latest decision further undermines Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy, rights, and freedom.”
Last week, the Hong Kong government announced that, in accordance with the decision of Beijing’s Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress on the same day, four democratic legislators, including Yang Yueqiao, Guo Rongkeng, Guo Jiaqi, and Liang Jichang, from the accounting community, would immediately lose their membership.
This decision also prompted the Democratic Party’s members to announce their collective resignation on the same day.
Before the Hong Kong government announced the disqualification of the four pro-democracy members, the National People’s Congress announced its decision to criminalize promoting or supporting the “Hong Kong independence” claim, refusing to recognize the country’s sovereignty over Hong Kong, seeking foreign forces to interfere in the affairs of the Special Administrative Region, or otherwise endanger national security.
Members of the Legislative Council who act will not meet the statutory requirements and conditions for upholding the Basic Law and allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. “Once confirmed by law, they will immediately lose their qualifications as members of the Legislative Council.”
The decision also applies to members of the Legislative Council who were disqualified during the general election of the Legislative Council, originally scheduled to be held in September this year, as well as those who will stand for election or serve as members of the Legislative Council in the future.
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government announced the disqualification of 4 members of the Legislative Council in accordance with the above regulations.
The foreign ministers of Canada, New Zealand, Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom reiterated in their statements that China’s actions have violated the legally binding China-British Joint Declaration.
In addition, China has also violated the high degree of autonomy and freedom of speech that it had promised Hong Kong.
The statement read:
“We urge the Chinese central authorities to re-consider their actions against Hong Kong’s elected legislature and immediately reinstate the Legislative Council members.”
The statement mentioned that the Chinese government had tried to silence critics of the government by postponing the election of the Legislative Council, prosecuting several elected members, and suppressing the active media ecology in Hong Kong.
At the end of the statement, the foreign ministers of the five countries called on Beijing to abide by the rights granted to Hong Kong people in the China-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law so that they can elect their own representatives of public opinion.