Chinese official rejects call for HK’s independence

(From agencies)

A top Chinese official has rejected the suggestion for Hong Kong’s independence made in an article by a University of Hong Kong student publication.

Qiao Xiaoyang

Qiao Xiaoyang

Such a move is impossible and against Hong Kong’s ‘s interests, Qiao Xiaoyang, chairman of National People’s Congress (NPC) law committee, told reporters as the NPC meeting in Beijing was drawing to a close.

The article title “Our 2047”  appearing in the monthly Undergrad magazine on Sunday said Hong Kong should become an independent country with a democratic government, own constitution and a place in the United Nations.

That suggestion drew strong response from Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying who said Hong Kong has been for long a part of China and it will continue to be so after 2047 when China’s guarantee of a “high degree of autonomy” for the special administrative region expires.

Local politicians too rejected the call for independence.

One should think about how to improve the one country, two systems. It will be a more effective and practical way of fighting for democracy, said Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung at a forum in Sanghai.

Hong Kong is always a part of China and it suicidal to think about its independence, others said.

Undergrad former editor-in-chief Marcus Lau Yee-ching defended the controversial article.

Speaking to Times, he said: “People have lost all their confidence in ‘one country, two systems.’ They want a genuine democracy …. People don’t see themselves as Chinese. They see themselves as Hong Kongese. They don’t have much connection with China and they don’t share a sense of nationalist sentiment with China.”

Michael Davis, a law professor at the University of Hong Kong, said “independence” was a growing issue since authorities were unresponsive to calls for more autonomy.

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