Thousands attend pro-Beijing rally in Hong Kong

Beijing's interpretation of the city's constitution issued on Monday said that any oath taker who does not follow the prescribed wording of the oath should be disqualifiBeijing's interpretation of the city's constitution issued on Monday said that a Photograph:( AFP )

Hong Kong Nov 13, 2016, 12.06 PM (IST)

Thousands of people attended a pro-Beijing rally in Hong Kong on Sunday supporting China's decision to bar two pro-independence legislators from taking office.

Beijing's ruling came last week before a decision by the Hong Kong courts over lawmakers Baggio Leung and Yau Wai-ching's disqualification from the parliament.

The two allegedly misread their oaths of office deliberately, inserting expletives and draping themselves with "Hong Kong is not China" flags.

Beijing's interpretation of the city's constitution said that any oath taker who does not follow the prescribed wording of the oath should be disqualified, AFP reported.

People waving Chinese flags surrounded the government's headquarters on Sunday supporting the disqualification. Pro-democracy activists and legal experts called it a massive blow to Hong Kong's judicial independence.

Slogans like "fight against Hong Kong independence, support the interpretation" were heard at the rally by pro-Beijing legislators.

"The cancer cells are those who are promoting Hong Kong independence... we will fight them to the end," AFP reported lawmaker Michael Tien saying at the rally

Around 28,500 people attended the rally, police informed.

The Hong Kong high court's decision into whether the two should be disqualified is still pending.

Hong Kong was handed back to China by Britain in 1997 under a "one country, two systems" deal which protects its freedoms for 50 years.

(WION with inputs from AFP)