China’s government has condemned the mass resignation of most of Hong Kong’s opposition as a “farce” and an “open challenge” to its authority.
On Wednesday, 15 opposition members announced their resignation in solidarity with four fellow lawmakers who had been dismissed.
Beijing said the four were deemed a threat to national security.
But many see it as further restricting Hong Kong’s rights, including freedom of speech, which Beijing denies.
It has been widely criticised as a violation of the territory’s supposed autonomy under the one “country, two systems” agreement, with the US calling it a move towards “one party dictatorship”.
China’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office on Thursday condemned the mass resignation as “an open challenge” against the Chinese government’s authority and the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s mini-constitution.
It also said the move showed their “stance of stubborn resistance” against the central government.