Hong Kong localism and independence

Nathan Law attacked at Hong Kong International Airport by pro-China protesters

Lawmaker was returning from Taiwan, where he had attended seminar by local pro-independence party

PUBLISHED : Monday, 09 January, 2017, 9:09am
UPDATED : Monday, 09 January, 2017, 5:41pm

Legislator Nathan Law Kwun-chung made a police report on Sunday night about being assaulted by pro-China protesters at the airport upon his return from Taiwan, where he had attended a seminar by a local pro-independence political party.

A dozen protesters showed up at Hong Kong International Airport in preparation for Law’s return at about 9.30pm after attending the two-day forum in Taipei with fellow Hong Kong lawmakers Edward Yiu Chung-yim and Eddie Chu Hoi-dick as well as student activist Joshua Wong Chi-fung.

Hong Kong and Taiwan lawmakers deny colluding over political independence at conference besieged by protests

Protesters confronted Law with banners and accused him of being a traitor colluding with the pro-independence camp in Taiwan. Some of them threw plastic drink bottles and hurled liquid at the lawmaker.

They also clashed with security guards and airport staff in order to get to Law, whose shirt was torn. The lawmaker’s glasses also flew off in the chaos, and at one point, he slipped and fell on some stairs. He later sought treatment at North Lantau Hospital.

Law has filed a police complaint. The case is being treated as an assault with personal injury. No one has been arrested so far.

Outside the arrival hall, protesters turned on the journalists covering the incident. Three male crew members, aged 27, 30 and 41, were allegedly pushed and assaulted at about 10pm on Sunday. The two younger members were treated for minor injuries at North Lantau Hospital.

Police were called in, and two men aged 53 and 71 were arrested on suspicion of assaulting the media crew.

The younger man was released on bail pending further investigation, according to police. The other man was being held for questioning and had not been charged.

Hong Kong democracy activist Joshua Wong under police protection in Taiwan after assault attempt

No clashes were reported when Joshua Wong returned to the city earlier that day, at about 1pm, though he was met by about 20 protesters at the airport.

The lawmakers and Wong had been followed by pro-China demonstrators over the weekend.

Protesters appeared at the Hong Kong airport on Friday night when they left for Taipei. During their two days in Taipei, they were also constantly besieged by anti-independence activists.

Wong was almost assaulted at Taipei’s Taoyuan International Airport when he arrived on Saturday morning and was greeted by 300 demonstrators.

Before he and the others returned on Sunday, protesters in Taipei hurled stones at them, though no one was injured.

The forum was held by Taiwan’s New Power Party, which denounced the protesters at Hong Kong airport, calling the incident an act of senseless violence.

Law said he would arrange a press conference on Monday.