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On November 7, 2016, the Chinese parliament moved to effectively bar two elected Hong Kong politicians from taking office. According to reports, the response came after the two displayed a banner saying "Hong Kong is not China" and pledged allegiance to the "Hong Kong nation" during their swearing-in ceremony. The parliament’s ruling imposes an obligation “that lawmakers must swear allegiance to Hong Kong as part of China and that candidates would be disqualified if they changed the wording of their oath of office or if they failed to take it in a sincere and solemn manner.” On November 15, 2016, a Hong Kong court passed down a similar ruling. The former British colony was ceded to Chinese control in 1997 under a “one country, two systems” formula.