PLG member Alvin Cheung writes: "The independence and relevance of Hong Kong’s judiciary may now be in doubt [...] Interventions from Beijing are likely to dictate outcomes to Hong Kong’s courts not only in cases directly involving political rights, but also cases that involve major policy initiatives such as public infrastructure projects."
(TIME) A court in Hong Kong has ruled that four pro-democracy lawmakers are to lose their seats in the territory's Legislative Council over the manner in which they took their oaths of office when they were sworn in, a fate that befell two of their colleagues last year.
The Hong Kong National Party (HKNP) has drawn no shortage of vitriol in the short time since its foundation. Liaison Office chief Zhang Xiaoming blustered that its formation “far exceeded the topic of freedom of speech.” Chief Secretary Carrie Lam was equally bombastic, suggesting that “the suggestion [of independence]… violates the Basic Law”.
On 19 December 1984, amidst great fanfare, the United Kingdom and China signed the Sino–British Joint Declaration on the Question of Hong Kong. It contained extensive guarantees of Hong Kong’s autonomy, rule of law, and fundamental rights — all of which would remain entrenched until 50 years after the transfer of sovereignty. On the day the treaty was signed, Deng Xiaoping confidently declared to Margaret Thatcher that ‘China will always keep its promises’.