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World China’s President Xi Says ‘Patriots’ Should Govern Hong Kong

16:12  27 january  2021
16:12  27 january  2021 Source:   bloomberg.com

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(Bloomberg) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping has said Hong Kong should be governed by “patriots” in comments that come just weeks after more than 50 opposition politicians and activists were arrested using the city’s new Beijing-drafted national security law.

Xi Jinping in a suit sitting at a table: BEIJING, CHINA - OCTOBER 23: Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks at a ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of China's entry into the Korean War, on October 23, 2020 at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images) © Photographer: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images AsiaPac BEIJING, CHINA - OCTOBER 23: Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks at a ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of China's entry into the Korean War, on October 23, 2020 at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

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

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“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.

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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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Hong Kong introduces sweeping national security rules for schools .
Hong Kong has introduced sweeping new restrictions for how schools operate, months after the Beijing government imposed a new national security law giving authorities wide-ranging powers to crack down on vaguely defined political crimes. © Photo Illustration/ Getty For years, parents and students in the semi-autonomous city have feared a shift toward China-style "patriotic education," with a previous attempt to introduce such a curriculum defeated by mass protests in 2012.

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