HONG KONG (Reuters) – The massive resignation of opposition lawmakers in Hong Kong leaves the pro-democracy movement with no clear option in its fight against Communist Party rulers in Beijing, one outgoing lawmaker said on Friday, but she promised to do not give up.
It’s good to lose. It’s not okay to give up, Claudia Mo told Reuters in her office where she was packing old campaign posters in cardboard boxes. We will be back.
The Beijing-backed government from Hong Kong ousted four opposition members from the Legislative Council on Wednesday for endangering national security after China’s parliament gave city authorities new powers to curb dissent.
The remaining members of the opposition left in solidarity.
Mo, of the HK First Party, said the coronavirus and a comprehensive national security law prevented the resumption of recent anti-government, anti-Chinese street protests involving the territory.
What else? We do not know, as of today, said Mo, a lawmaker during the two 79-day Umbrella movements occupying major roads in 2014 and in recent years often violent protests, both demanding universal suffrage for the former British colony.
You can not expect two million Hong Kong people to take to the streets again in the near future, by any means. And the legislative war is over, in essence. I really do not know the right way.
Opposition members have tried to take a stand against what many see as Beijing by stripping Hong Kong of its promised freedoms under one country, the two-system formula under which it returned to China in 1997.
China denies restricting rights and freedoms in financial center, but authorities in Hong Kong and Beijing have moved resolutely to crack down on dissent, particularly with national security legislation punishing what China widely defines as overthrow, secession, terrorism and co-operation. with foreign forces until life in prison.
Britain on Thursday said China had broken its key bilateral treaty over Hong Kong by imposing new rules to disqualify elected lawmakers, warning it would consider sanctions as part of its response.
The fate of Hong Kong’s political opposition has been in doubt since the government, citing the dangers of the coronavirus, postponed the September legislative elections by a year.
Critics saw it as an attempt to kill the momentum of pro-democracy camps as it hoped for the first time to build a majority in the assembly.
But Mo was optimistic that the pro-democracy movement would eventually return.
The spirit is still there, she said.
Written by Marius Zaharia; Edited by Nick Macfie
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