Selin ATAY-TDO- In response to the demotion of 4 opposition MPs, 15 pro-democracy MPs in Hong Kong began to submit their resignations in protest against Beijing.

15 deputies who did not attend the assembly's regular session on Thursday submitted their resignation letters to the Legislative Council Secretariat after the session. "We are leaving the Legislature at this point, but we are not giving up on Hong Kong's struggle for democracy. The phrase " Claudia Mo, a pro-democracy lawmaker who submitted her resignation, said.

In a statement, the Beijing government described the move by opposition MPs as "a clear challenge to central authority." The Beijing government said it strongly condemned the resignation of 15 lawmakers.

"If these lawmakers were hoping to use their resignations to incite dissent and for foreign interference, they have miscalculated” a spokesman from the Hong Kong and Macau Office of China's State Council said.

Britain, which previously held Hong Kong's administration and ceded it to China in 1997 under the "one country, two systems" principle, said the principle was violated by the reduction of MPs ' surrogates. Britain has also announced it is moving with allies to hold Beijing to account.

Another reaction to the disqualification of surrogates came from the European Union. The EU said Hong Kong's autonomy had been dealt a "heavy blow" and called for the new rule, introduced to disqualify elected proxies, to be immediately lifted from practice.

"This latest arbitrary decision by Beijing has significantly undermined Hong Kong's autonomy under the “one country, two systems” principle”. This latest step dealt a heavier blow to political pluralism and freedom of opinion in Hong Kong. The decision must be overturned by the Beijing and Hong Kong administrations, and members of the Legislative Council must return to their posts immediately.” the statement issued by Brussels on behalf of the 27 European Union countries said.

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