Top Beijing official says patriotism must sit at the heart of Hong Kong’s political system, as he urges judicial reform in the city

Top Beijing official says patriotism must sit at the heart of Hong Kong’s political system, as he urges judicial reform in the city

A top Beijing official has declared that clarifying state allegiance rules for Hong Kong lawmakers is a key step to establishing the patriotism that must underpin the city’s political system, as he defended the central government’s recent move to disqualify four opposition legislators.

Zhang Xiaoming, deputy director of the State Council’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, also said on Tuesday that a lack of understanding over Beijing’s “one country, two systems” policy was to blame for a series of Hong Kong “fallacies”.

Zhang, who was referring to the governing principle for Hong Kong, said such misunderstandings must be corrected, and further urged the city authorities and its legal sector to heed local calls to reform the judiciary.

The senior official at China’s top body overseeing Hong Kong affairs was speaking at a legal summit in the city following a Beijing resolution last week that made it much easier to oust Legislative Council members, resulting in the immediate removal of four lawmakers by the local government.