The United States on Thursday condemned the "patriotism" resolution passed this week by China that resulted in the disqualification of four pro-democracy lawmakers from Hong Kong's Legislative Council.
US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo slammed China's "onslaught" against freedom in Hong Kong and said that the resolution passed by the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress on November 11 tramples on the rights of the people of Hong Kong to choose their elected representatives".
"Beijing's onslaught against Hong Kong's freedoms and liberties continues," Pompeo said.
"This resolution tramples on the rights of the people of Hong Kong to choose their elected representatives as guaranteed by the Basic Law and further exposes Beijing's blatant disregard for its international commitments under the Sino-British Joint Declaration, a U.N.-registered treaty. Beijing has eliminated nearly all of Hong Kong's promised autonomy, as it neuters democratic processes and legal traditions that have been the bedrock of Hong Kong's stability and prosperity," he said in an official statement.
The State Secretary further said that the Chinese Communist Party's "twisted vision of patriotism is a pretext to stifle freedom and the call for democracy".
"The US will continue to work with our allies and partners around the world to champion the rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong and call out Beijing's abject failure to honor its commitments. We will hold accountable the people responsible for these actions and policies that erode Hong Kong's autonomy and freedoms. We stand with the disqualified pan-Democratic lawmakers, the pro-democracy lawmakers who resigned in protest, and the people of Hong Kong," he added.
Earlier, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin had said that the matter was an internal affair of China, and no country should intervene.
Speaking at a press conference, Wang said: "I would like to stress that Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of China, and the qualification of HKSAR LegCo (Legislative Council) members is purely an internal affair of China. No other country has the right to make irresponsible remarks or intervene in the matter."
Four Hong Kong opposition lawmakers were disqualified with immediate effect after the National People's Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC) passed a resolution allowing local authorities power to unseat politicians without having to go through the city's courts.
Following the disqualification, the remaining 15 pro-democracy legislators also announced that they will resign en masse.