Beijing slams creation of Hong Kong independence party, saying it endangers national security

But Hong Kong National Party remains defiant and threatens the city’s government to take action against it

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 March, 2016, 11:40pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 31 March, 2016, 10:03am

Beijing’s office in charge of Hong Kong affairs has slammed the establishment of a new political party advocating independence for the city as a serious violation of the country’s constitution, the Basic Law and a threat to national security.

The State Council’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office issued a strongly worded statement through the official Xinhua news agency on Wednesday, after the Hong Kong National Party ­announced its formation on Monday. It has yet to be ­registered.

Hong Kong National Party is born: will push for independence, will not recognise the Basic Law

The party, led by former Occupy activist Chan Ho-tin, has pledged to push for independence by, for example, fielding candidates in the Legislative Council elections in September.

“The establishment of a pro-independence party by an extremely small group of people in Hong Kong has harmed the country’s sovereignty and security, as well as endangered the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong,” a spokesman for the office was quoted as saying.

“It has also harmed the interests of Hong Kong.

“It is firmly opposed by all Chinese nationals, including some seven million Hong Kong people. It is also a serious violation of the country’s constitution, Hong Kong’s Basic Law and the relevant existing laws.”

The office said the Hong Kong government would handle the matter according to the law.

“We are aware that the Hong Kong SAR government has ­already rejected the party’s registration. It was a suitable action,” the office was quoted as saying.

But the party was undeterred.

It issued a statement on Wednesday saying a constitution is supposed to serve as a proclamation on how citizens are to be protected.

“It is ridiculous that the citizens are accused of violating the constitution,” the party said.

Is it legal? Hong Kong justice department questions status of new pro-independence party

It also dismissed as “ridiculous” a warning on Tuesday by the Department of Justice that it might take legal action against the party.

“We will not be afraid of such draconian laws. Bring it on. We will push ahead with Hong Kong independence with Hong Kong people,” the party said.

A government spokesman ­replied: “Any suggestion that Hong Kong should be independent or any movement to advocate such ‘independence’ is against the Basic Law, and will undermine the stability and prosperity of Hong Kong and impair the interests of the general public.

“The SAR government will take action according to the law.”

Political commentator Johnny Lau Yui-siu said Beijing’s condemnation was “unnecessary” because pro-independence ­ideology had not gained support in the city.

“The statement would in fact drive more Hong Kong people to care about the issue of independence. They may not support it but they will think about it,” Lau said.

Additional reporting by Jeffie Lam