Hong Kong bars 12 opposition candidates from legislative election

Prominent activist Joshua Wong and 11 other opposition figures have been barred from running in Hong Kong’s upcoming elections, a move they decried as the latest assault on China’s critics in the semi-autonomous city.

The government of Hong Kong, in a statement on Thursday, said electoral authorities had disqualified the 12 nominees for failing to demonstrate their intent to support and promote the territory’s mini-constitution, or Basic Law.

Advocating for independence, soliciting intervention by foreign governments, or “expressing an objection in principle” to a national security law that China imposed on Hong Kong earlier this month are behaviours that “could not genuinely” uphold the Basic Law, the statement said.

Al Jazeera’s Divya Gopalan reports.

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In This Story: Hong Kong

Hong Kong, officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (HKSAR), is a metropolitan area and special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China on the eastern Pearl River Delta of the South China Sea. With over 7.5 million residents of various nationalities in a 1,104-square-kilometre (426 sq mi) territory, Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated places in the world.

Hong Kong became a colony of the British Empire after the Qing Empire ceded Hong Kong Island at the end of the First Opium War in 1842. The colony expanded to the Kowloon Peninsula in 1860 after the Second Opium War and was further extended when Britain obtained a 99-year lease of the New Territories in 1898. The whole territory was transferred to China in 1997. As a special administrative region, Hong Kong maintains separate governing and economic systems from that of mainland China under the principle of “one country, two systems”.

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