Hong Kong to disqualify disloyal politicians and officials

Hong Kong announced plans on Tuesday to ramp up the ideological vetting of politicians and officials, with anyone seen to be disloyal to China or a national security threat barred from office.

The draft law will be sent next month to the city’s legislature, a body now devoid of opposition after a number of figures were disqualified because their political views were deemed a security threat.

Officials have detailed a “negative list” of offenses that could see their colleagues removed from office, including acts that endanger national security, advocating for independence or refusing to accept China’s sovereignty over Hong Kong.

‘Disrespecting the party’

The city’s Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Erick Tsang confirmed that criticism of the Chinese Communist Party could also be a disqualifying factor.

“You can’t say you’re patriotic but don’t love the Chinese Communist Party’s leadership, or don’t respect it,” he told reporters after the new law was announced on Tuesday.

“This does not make sense.”

“Doing harm to the country’s fundamental system, its socialist system, or doing harm to the socialist system led by the Chinese Communist Party, shouldn’t be allowed.”

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