The latest in an ongoing series of tightening security in Hong Kong sees Beijing implementing a “patriots only” rule for the city’s elections. The government of China has faced harsh criticism from other countries for years relating to their treatment of Hong Kong, with scattered protests in the city being met with extreme force by Chinese officials.
Last year, four of the city’s elected opposition officials were ousted by the Chinese government. Loyalists to Beijing make up the majority of the city’s governing bodies. Now, the government of China plans to implement a rule that will allow them to disqualify any candidates they rule as “disloyal” from running for office in the city.
This rule is seen by pro-democracy advocates as the nail in the coffin for Hong Kong’s struggle for direct democracy. After the 2019 anti-China protests were met with severe punishment, Beijing passed a sweeping security law that allows officials to arrest citizens for dissent. This is reshaping Hong Kong’s once mostly-democratic system into a mirror of the mainland’s authoritarian form of government.