Beijing blocks two lawmakers from taking office in Hong Kong in an unprecedented intervention into district’s politics, according to BBC on Monday.
Pro-independence elected lawmakers Sixtus Leung and Yau Wai-ching have refused to pledge allegiance to Beijing when being sworn in. Beijing has now interpreted a section of Hong Kong law to mean any official who does not swear the oath properly cannot take office, said state media.
The move comes after weeks of chaos in the Hong Kong legislature. There were also protests, and some scuffles, in Hong Kong on Sunday night, with at least four arrests.
Hong Kong's Chief Executive CY Leung said his government would "fully implement"
The interpretation by Beijing's rubber-stamp parliament, the National People's Congress (NPC), marks Beijing's most far-reaching intervention in Hong Kong since the handover.
Leung and Yau both belong to the Youngspiration party, which sprang from the 2014 Occupy Central pro-democracy protests. They have called for Hong Kong to break away from China entirely.
They were elected in September, and have attempted to take their oaths several times, but each time have provocatively changed the wording. Their attempts included using a variation of a derogatory word for China, and displaying a pro-independence banner.
China's intervention came before a local court could issue its own ruling on whether the pair could be sworn in again.
The Beijing ruling states that lawmakers taking their oaths must do so "sincerely and solemnly"
. Failure to do so would disqualify the lawmaker from taking office.
A spokesman for Beijing's state council was quoted by Xinhua as saying the move was "absolutely necessary"
, and "complies with the common aspiration of the entire Chinese people"
including those in Hong Kong.
Li Fei, deputy secretary of China's top legislative panel, warned there would be "no obscurity and no leniency"
in Beijing's "firm and clear attitude towards containing and striking the Hong Kong independence forces".