China’s President Xi proposed ‘patriots’ should govern Hong Kong

China’s President Xi proposed ‘patriots’ should govern Hong Kong

China’s President Xi said Hong Kong must insist that “patriots” govern the territory, state broadcaster CCTV reported on Wednesday.

The central government will take all necessary measures to help Hong Kong control the coronavirus epidemic, Xi said. (Reporting by Beijing Newsroom; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

China’s leader made the statement in a video conference with Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam on Wednesday, according to state broadcaster CCTV.

“To ensure the steady and lasting implementation of ‘one country, two systems,’ Hong Kong must always be governed by patriots,” Xi said in his conversation with Lam. “This is the fundamental principle that bears on China’s sovereignty, security and development interests, as well as Hong Kong’s long-term prosperity and stability.”

The comments from Xi underscore Beijing’s consistent message that Hong Kong’s lawmakers and civil servants need to be patriotic. Earlier this month, the Hong Kong government said all civil servants appointed before July 1, 2020, would be asked to sign a declaration they would uphold the city’s mini-constitution.

In recent months, Chinese authorities have tried to purge pro-democracy activists from Hong Kong’s Legislative Council, fueling condemnation by foreign governments including the U.S.

In November, China’s top legislative body, the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, passed a measure allowing Hong Kong’s government to oust elected politicians deemed insufficiently patriotic. The government immediately expelled four lawmakers, triggering the mass resignation of more than a dozen opposition politicians.

Xi told Lam that it’s “only when Hong Kong is governed by patriots” that “various deep-rooted problems can be effectively resolved, and Hong Kong can achieve lasting peace and stability.”

According to the report, Xi also asked Lam to convey his condolences to relevant Hong Kong government officials that the U.S. government has targeted for “unreasonable sanctions.”

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