Hong Kong localism and independence

Hong Kong and Taiwanese forum radicals accused of trying to ‘split country’

Attack on pro-independence event comes as Hong Kong police arrest third person over assault on localist lawmaker Nathan Law

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 11 January, 2017, 8:15pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 12 January, 2017, 11:56am

The Taiwan Affairs Office in Beijing has condemned the “collusion” of “pro-independence elements” behind a recent visit by Hong Kong localist lawmakers to a political forum in Taipei.

It said their “attempt to split the country” would be “doomed to failure”.

The condemnation on Wednesday came as Hong Kong police arrested a third person in connection with the assault of localist lawmaker Nathan Law Kwun-chung during a violent protest at the airport in Hong Kong on Sunday after he flew back from the event.

A woman aged 68 was picked up by detectives at her Tung Chung home on suspicion of assaulting Law and taking part in an unlawful assembly. She was still being questioned on Wednesday night.

Violence erupted on Sunday as Law emerged from the arrival halls upon his return from a two-day visit to Taipei, where he and three fellow localists, including lawmakers Edward Yiu Chung-yim and Eddie Chu Hoi-dick, held talks with Taiwan’s pro-independence New Power Party.

The four returned separately.

The protesters yelled “traitor” at Law and some also held banners that read: “Get out of Hong Kong”.

Law, a lawmaker of the political party Demosisto, suffered scratches to his neck and arms, and a bruise on his right thigh. Someone also threw liquid in his face and his shirt was torn.

On Tuesday two men, aged 53 and 71, were arrested in connection with the protests and later released on police bail.

The pair had been initially detained on Sunday night on suspicion of assaulting three TV crew members who were there covering Law’s return at the airport.

Law has urged police to investigate whether there were elements of organised crime involved in the protest and suggested the assault was a planned attack, not just an ordinary demonstration.

A spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office, Ma Xiaoguang, said: “Hong Kong independence elements colluded with Taiwan independence forces, intending to split the country and destroy Hong Kong’s ‘one country, two systems’, and [the city’s] prosperity and stability.

“This is doomed to failure. And it is not supported by the people.”

Meanwhile, in Taiwan, an alleged triad leader reportedly involved in a violent protest against the visiting Hong Kong localists last Saturday was arrested by local police.

The 28-year-old man, surnamed Chen, was allegedly a leader of a local triad society, the Four Seas Gang, who was already being hunted for earlier crimes.

He was accused of organising protests at Taoyuan airport in Taiwan against Law and his party’s secretary general, Joshua Wong Chi-fung, as they landed in Taipei, according to Taiwanese media reports.

Chen reportedly denied any attempt to attack the Hong Kong activists, arguing he was only passing by.