Hong Kong groups want unlikely China exit as election looms

(From AP)

Britain had its Brexit. Now some in Hong Kong are dreaming of their own version.

Pro-independence protesters carry placard and flags during a pro-democracy march on the day marking the 19th anniversary of Hong Kong's handover to Chinese sovereignty from British rule, in Hong Kong July 1, 2016. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

Pro-independence protesters carry placard and flags during a pro-democracy march on the day marking the 19th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to Chinese sovereignty from British rule, in Hong Kong July 1, 2016. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

As the Asian financial center prepares for legislative elections in September, a new wave of radical political activists is planning to join the campaign, including some who advocate the once-unthinkable idea of independence from China.

Separatist sentiment is largely on the fringe but has gained momentum recently, fueled by public fears that Hong Kong’s identity is being eroded by mainland China’s growing influence. It has the potential to turn a normally humdrum vote into an embarrassment for Beijing by highlighting the challenges the Chinese Communist Party faces as it seeks to exert control over the freewheeling former British colony.

The Hong Kong government has tried to counter the activists. Over the past week, election officers have warned candidates they must pledge to uphold Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, including a section stating the city is an “inalienable” part of China. Read More



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