New party seeks Hong Kong’s independence, via return to British rule

Calling itself the Alliance to Resume British Sovereignty over Hong Kong and Independence, the extreme localist group is the second political party formed within three months that advocates Hong Kong’s independence

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 22 June, 2016, 8:02am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 22 June, 2016, 8:00am

A group of activists are setting up another political party to campaign for Hong Kong’s independence.

Calling itself the Alliance to Resume British Sovereignty over Hong Kong and Independence, the extreme localist group is the second political party formed within three months that advocates Hong Kong’s independence.

The first was Hong Kong National Party, formed in late March.

Among the core leaders of the new party is activist Billy Chiu Hin-chung, 31, who said the party was planning to field candidates in the Legislative Council elections in September.

Unlike the National Party, Chiu said they would not aim to make Hong Kong an independent state in one-go, rather, they would want Hong Kong to become a British colony again first before asking Britain to let the city go independent.

Radical move: two rival Hong Kong parties unite

“We do not recognise the Sino-British Joint Declaration. So, the only logical result that Hong Kong has to return to British rule. It will be transitional. And we shall aim ultimately at going independent,” said Chiu on Tuesday.

He added that they had prepared to set up the party for about half a year.

The party is to be formally inaugurated on Sunday.

Despite the seemingly common goal of Hong Kong’s independence, Chiu said they had no ties with the National Party, adding that the form of independent state the National Party was seeking was not “genuine independence”.

“The National Party claim they would recognise those outsiders who flee to Hong Kong [as Hong Kong nationals],” said Chiu.

Chiu was formerly with the League of Social Democrats and later founded the protest group Hongkongers Come First in 2013. He managed to catch media attention by waving the colonial-era Hong Kong flag during protests.

Advocating independence with a locked mindset

He and several others made a political stunt in late 2013 when they broke into the People’s Liberation Army barracks in Admiralty while waving a colonial flag and asking the PLA to “get out of Hong Kong”. He was at last sentenced to two weeks in jail for entering a closed area without a permit, but the term was suspended for 12 months.

In one of the latest cases, Chiu was found guilty of taking part in an unlawful assembly in June 2014 when he and other protesters stormed into the Legislative Council building during a violent protest against the government plans to develop the northeastern New Territories. Chiu was sentenced to 150 hours of community service by the court in February.