Beijing steps in over separatist lawmakers
China’s top legislature has effectively barred two elected separatist lawmakers from taking office in Hong Kong. The National People’s Congress Standing Committee in Beijing issued a ruling yesterday on a section of Hong Kong’s miniconstitution covering oaths taken by officials. It acted after a display of anti-China sentiment by two pro-independence Hong Kong lawmakers at their swearing-in ceremony last month. Hong Kong’s government will fully implement the interpretation, said Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, the Beijing-backed leader of the semiautonomous Chinese region. Thousands of protesters took to Hong Kong streets on Sunday after Beijing signalled it was planning to intervene. They demanded that China’s central government stay out of the political dispute, saying the move would undermine the city’s autonomy and independent judiciary.