Analysis: Hong Kong's new loyalty oath requires all lawmakers to love China -- and the Communist Party
February 24, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.
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What does it mean to be a patriot in modern China? Can someone love the country while opposing the ruling Communist Party?
Those questions could spell the end for any last vestiges of democracy in Hong Kong, as the government moved to introduce new requirements for public officials Tuesday, including that they swear loyalty oaths and embrace Beijing's rule over the city.
Tsang said that under the proposed new oath requirements, anyone standing for election at any level must embrace national sovereignty and security, and embrace the fact that Hong Kong is an inalienable part of the People's Republic of China.
Senior Chinese government officials routinely insist that to oppose the Communist Party is to oppose China itself, but codifying such a requirement would be a drastic rewriting of the social contract that has governed Hong Kong since it was handed over to Chinese rule in 1997.
Many Hong Kong activists who pushed for democracy under British rule were staunch Chinese patriots, even nationalists, and embraced the city's handover to China, while continuing to advocate for greater representation.
The city's annual memorial for the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, the biggest repudiation of the Communist Party and a major symbol of Hong Kong's autonomy from Beijing, is organized by a group called the Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China.