Hong Kong's future in jeopardy, warns lawmaker Claudia Moh

Beijing trying to tighten grip on Hong Kong: Lawmaker

Beijing's ruling on a Hong Kong legal case concerning pro-independence politicians is "the beginning of the end" for the city, according to one local lawmaker.

China is rewriting the city's laws, not interpreting them, Claudia Moh, legislator from the Civic Party of Hong Kong, told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Tuesday.

In Beijing's most significant form of legal intervention since Hong Kong's sovereignty was transferred from the U.K. to China in 1997, the mainland's parliament declared on Monday that politicians entering Hong Kong's Legislative Council (LegCo) must swear allegiance to the city as part of China.

The ruling also banned two elected LegCo lawmakers, who insulted Beijing during their October 12 swearing-in ceremony, from office. Last month, Sixtus Leung Chung-hang, 30, and Yau Wai-ching, 25, had pledged allegiance to "the Hong Kong nation" and held a banner saying "Hong Kong is not China" during their oaths, ignoring the pledge's original wording.

Hong Kong began a judicial review on Thursday to decide whether the pair can retake their oaths, but China's decision on Monday will now override the local court, with the territory's Chief Executive CY Leung declaring that he would "fully implement" China's interpretation.

While Moh acknowledged that Leung and Yau's oath antics were "juvenile," she believed the duo still deserved a second chance to retake the oaths.


This interpretation of the Basic Law, which sets out China's policies related to Hong Kong, could even spark a mass exodus from the special administrative region, she exclaimed. "I'm not being melodramatic, anyone who can afford to leave [Hong Kong] may be considering the option."

For now, more aggressive protests are now widely expected in the city amid growing anti-Beijing sentiment.

As many as 11,000 demonstrators took to Hong Kong streets on Sunday to protest Beijing's involvement. Chaos rapidly ensued, with people using umbrellas as protection from police pepper spray in scenes reminiscent of the city's 2014 pro-democracy "Umbrella Movement".

Monday's ruling effectively means that from now on, Beijing will do whatever it wants regarding the city's law and courts, which is a gross injustice to local citizens, Moh continued.

Essentially, the activists provided Beijing with a means to crack down on the city's expanding pro-democracy movement, she noted.

"The writing is on the wall...with or without their [Leung and Yao] actions, this was waiting to happen...After the 2014 Umbrella movement, Beijing was so fed up with Hong Kongers that it was looking for something to tighten their grip on the city so they fanned this up."

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