The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has ordered a complete end to the remnants of democracy that still survive in Hong Kong. It announced on Monday, Feb. 22, that “only patriots,” loyal to the CCP, will be able to participate in the executive, judicial, legislative, and statutory departments of the city and to participate in elections for political posts.

The head of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office, Xia Baolong, was in charge of announcing the implementation of the plan to guarantee that “only patriots” will be at the head of the Chinese special administrative region, announced the South China Morning Post.

What is a patriot to the CCP?

The CCP seeks to redefine the concept of “patriot,” to include only those who support the Chinese Communist Party and exclude anyone who speaks out against the Party’s ideas or policies. “Being a patriot means loving China,” Baolong said, but when he said loving China he means the ruling CCP and not its age-old traditions and cultures. 

Detailing the central government’s instructions to implement the basic principle of “patriots ruling Hong Kong,” Xia made it clear that there was no place in the city’s administration for anti-China elements and those who sought in any way to demonstrate against the abuses of the dictatorial regime.

The announced reforms are unprecedented, and will mark the most significant restructuring of the city’s political and administrative systems since its 1997 handover to the CCP and will be led by the central government.

“In all circumstances, key posts should not be taken over by anyone ‘going against China and disrupting Hong Kong,'” Xia said, referring to posts in the executive, legislative, and judicial bodies, as well as appointments to important statutory bodies.

“Those who oppose the patriots are destroyers of the principle of ‘one country, two systems’ and should not be allowed to seize a share of political power in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Not now, not ever,” he said.

While saying otherwise, Xia is clearly announcing a policy that goes against the concept of “one country, two systems,” forcibly taking Hong Kong to be part of one country and “one system,” which cannot be objected to by anyone, otherwise he will be considered a traitor and the CCP forces will set upon him, just like what is happening in Mainland China.

Party loyalists and government offices

When the news broke, opposition activists and some commentators took heart in accusing the CCP of trying to further concentrate the city’s elections with Party loyalists and using the definition of patriots to suit its own agenda.

Alan Leong Kah-kit of the opposition Civic Party accused the CCP of seeking to “manipulate” the upcoming election by using Xia’s “broad and vague” definition of patriots.

“The definition is highly subjective within the regime’s prerogative. Decisions by the executive branches on who can participate in the races could have a political agenda,” Kah-kit said, also warning that such decisions might not be judicially reviewed if directly dictated by the CCP.

Democratic Party Chairman Lo Kin-hei said Xia’s new definition of patriots was too “elusive and vague,” and that any possible changes to the election would only be favorable to the pro-establishment bloc.

A political scientist at Chinese University, Ivan Choy Chi-keung, said Xia’s speech had a significant impact in the city, as it now indicated that those deemed “unpatriotic” would not only be barred from running for election, but would also be banned from taking on government functions.

The new regulations announced have not yet been made official, so it remains to be seen what the real scope of the measures will be, but everything indicates that the CCP’s advance and takeover of Hong Kong’s independence is a done deal and has no limits unless the international community manages to persuade the regime and negotiate brakes to its constant subjugation of the island.