Hong Kong localism and independence

Beijing mouthpiece steps up attacks on Youngspiration duo, wants them barred from Legco

Article in People’s Daily overseas edition says Sixtus Baggio Leung and Yau Wai-ching violated basic law and must face consequences

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 01 November, 2016, 1:04pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 01 November, 2016, 3:43pm

The Chinese state media has stepped up its attacks on localist lawmakers Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching, saying the duo should be barred from entering the Legislative Council and must bear legal responsibility for their insulting acts and for advocating Hong Kong independence.

Citing remarks by three members of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies, the People’s Daily overseas edition stated in Tuesday’s paper that the conduct of the Youngspiration pair had violated the Basic Law and challenged the principle of “one country, two systems”. The article called for the duo to bear the legal consequences of their actions even though they were not officially lawmakers.

“The insulting oaths of Leung and Yau were ... full of ill will. This had obviously breached and is a challenge to the Basic Law. The pair are not qualified to be lawmakers,” it read.

The two localist lawmakers triggered outrage during their swearing-in ceremony when they referred to China as “Chee-na”, a variation of the derogatory term “Shina” used by Japan during wartime, and displaying a flag bearing the words “Hong Kong is not China”.

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During a seminar in Taipei on October 22, on the topic of Hong Kong’s localist movement, the pair also called for Taiwan to “insulate” itself from the mainland.

Citing Article 104 of the Basic Law, People’s Daily said those who embraced the city’s independence could not be legislators.

The Communist party mouthpiece also slammed the pair for their allegedly deceptive behaviour.

“They disregarded the feelings of all Chinese nationals for their political capital. We should not let such opportunists worm their way into the Legislative Council,” it continued, adding that taking a bogus oath was also a serious offence.

While asserting that Hong Kong independence would never be possible, the article said that the pair’s language and behaviour had brought vulgarity to the city’s political culture and was a bad influence on the younger generation.

The article in the People’s Daily overseas edition came after opinion pieces in Chinese tabloid the Global Times denounced the behaviour of the two localist lawmakers.