Nov. 12 (UPI) — China condemned the resignation of opposition lawmakers in Hong Kong as “a farce” on Thursday, describing the protest as “a blatant problem” to its authority over the previous British colony.

On Wednesday, 15 pro-democracy Hong Kong lawmakers resigned in protest towards the removing of 4 colleagues who had been disqualified from workplace by a brand new regulation handed by the central authorities that guidelines out anybody from public service who has promoted independence or engaged in “unpatriotic” acts.

A spokesperson from the central authorities’s Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Workplace condemned the mass resignation in a press release on Thursday as a problem to Beijing’s authority and the Fundamental Legislation, Hong Kong’s mini structure wherein the precept of “one nation, two methods” is enshrined that affords the area rights and freedoms the mainland doesn’t get pleasure from.

The spokesman accused the legislators who in resigning referred to as the brand new regulation political suppression of slandering the Nationwide Folks’s Congress and of utilizing their positions “as a device of political manipulation.”

“This farce absolutely uncovered the character of some opposition lawmakers in disregarding the pursuits of the general public for political self-interest, and as soon as once more demonstrated their cussed stand towards the central authorities,” the assertion mentioned.

The spokesman defended the brand new regulation beneath which legislators Alvin Yeung, Kwok Ka-ki, Dennis Kwok and Kenneth Leung had been unseated, stating public officers “should meet the statutory situations and necessities, and offenders should bear obligation.”

“These measures are all aimed toward sustaining the rule of regulation and the constitutional order of the [Hong Kong] Particular Administration Area, and are conducive to the orderly operation of the legislature and social stability,” the spokesman mentioned.

The spokesman warned the opposition lawmakers from utilizing the state of affairs to reignite pro-democracy protests or to “beg for intervention from outdoors forces,” saying the federal government is “unwavering.”

In July following a yr of pro-democracy protests that rocked Hong Kong, China carried out a extensively condemned draconian nationwide safety regulation that criminalizes acts which can be seen as threatening to China’s nationwide safety within the former British colony. Since its implementation, the regulation has been used to arrest individuals who chanted pro-Hong Kong independence songs and waved flags supporting the motion. Politicians and activists have additionally been charged beneath the brand new regulation.

Human rights teams see the expulsion of the legislators as an additional whittling away of the remaining autonomy Hong Kong has left.

U.S.-based Human Rights Watch described the transfer as a watershed second that offers the Hong Kong authorities the power to unseat anybody who it disagrees with, turning the semi-democratic Legislative Council “right into a rubber-stamp physique.”

“Beijing is tearing down the final vestiges of its promise of democracy to the individuals in Hong Kong,” Maya Wang, a senior China researcher for HRW, mentioned in a press release. “Now that Beijing has eliminated even the veneer of democratic rule and autonomy from Hong Kong, different governments ought to reply with concrete measures.”

Amnesty Worldwide described it as “a politically motivated try to legitimize repression of opposition legislators.”

Britain’s Overseas Secretary Dominic Raab referred to as the expulsion of the pro-democracy lawmakers from the LegCo a part of Beijing’s “marketing campaign to harass, stifle and disqualify democratic opposition.”

“China’s resolution to arbitrarily take away elected pro-democracy Hong Kong legislators from their positions represents an additional assault on Hong Kong’s excessive diploma of autonomy and freedoms beneath the U.Ok.-China Joint Declaration,” he mentioned in reference to the settlement that noticed Hong Kong return to Chinese language sovereignty in 1997.

America has taken a tough stance on China over its therapy of Hong Kong, sanctioning high-ranking authorities officers it holds accountable for degrading the autonomy of the previous British colony.

Robert O’Brien, a nationwide safety advisor to President Donald Trump, mentioned the disqualification of the pro-democracy legislators leaves little doubt that the Chinese language Communist Occasion “flagrantly violated” its commitments to the worldwide neighborhood and to the individuals of Hong Kong.

He warned China within the assertion on Wednesday that the US will use all of the powers at its disposal “to determine and sanction these accountable for extinguishing Hong Kong’s freedom.”