Taiwan urges China to deal patiently with Hong Kong legislators

The Presidential Office reacted Tuesday to a Hong Kong High Court move to disqualify two popularly elected legislators, urging China to patiently engage in dialogue with the Hong Kong people rather than stifling their aspirations for democracy.

The Hong Kong High Court ruled that Youngspiration Party lawmakers Sixtus Leung and Yau Wai-ching violated the Special Administrative Area’s Basic Law and oath-taking rules while being sworn into office Oct. 12, which means they have lost their eligibility to be members of the Legislative Council.

The court decision came after China’s National People’s Congress handed down its interpretation Nov. 7 of Article 104 of the Hong Kong Basic Law, which stipulates that oaths must be taken “in a sincere and solemn manner.”

The two young legislators-elect mispronounced the term “China” and displayed a banner that read “Hong Kong Is Not China” while taking the oath — acts that were seen as invalidating the legal effectiveness of the swearing-in ceremony.

Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺) said Hong Kong people expect to have the freedom to choose their political system and way of life, and China should adopt a “positive attitude” toward their ideas and aspirations.

Instead of trying to stifle the Kong Kong people’s aspirations for freedom and democracy, China should seek to talk and communicate with them with patience, Huang said.

Wang Min-sheng (王閔生), spokesman for the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, said that if the status of legally elected legislators can be taken away because of the oath-taking issue, thereby depriving them of their right to speak for the people in the legislature, Hong Kong’s democracy will surely be damaged.

The two politicians said later in the day that they will appeal.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel

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