Court of Appeal deals heavy blow to separatism in HK
The Court of Appeal of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has dismissed an appeal by two young people elected to be lawmakers against an earlier court ruling disqualifying them from taking their seats in the Legislative Council because they failed to take their oaths of office. As the Court of Appeal stated in its verdict on Wednesday, Sixtus Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching, by what they did and said during their swearing-in, effectively declined to take the LegCo oath as stipulated by Article 104 of the Basic Law.
It sided with a judgment by the Court of First Instance of the HKSAR early this month that found Leung and Yau were “derogatory and humiliating of the country” and were advocating Hong Kong’s independence.
By challenging the Basic Law, local laws and integrity of the Chinese nation with their disreputable behavior while being sworn in for LegCo, the two leading members of a separatist organization called “Youngspiration” have shown their actions are satisfying their own vanity rather than seeking to genuinely fulfill their roles to the benefit of all in the SAR.
Not only have they misjudged the prevailing sentiment in the SAR, which is manifestly against their professed aim, they also clearly underestimated the resolve of the SAR government to uphold the rule of law in Hong Kong.
The recent interpretation of the Basic Law by the nation’s top legislature, and the judicial review of the decision by the president of LegCo to give the pair a second opportunity to take the oath have reinforced the sanctity of law in the SAR.
Wednesday’s ruling by the Court of Appeal makes it clear that it is the court’s responsibility, when asked, to determine if those taking the oath have fulfilled their duty by taking it faithfully.
Like the Court of First Instance, the Court of Appeal has found there was no innocent explanation for what Leung and Yau did during their swearing-in. What they did, as the ruling makes clear, was done “deliberately and intentionally”.
In so doing, the two not only failed themselves and their supporters, they also failed in their duty to the people of Hong Kong who do not support their aim but instead aspire for stability and prosperity.
And by ruling that lawmakers who do not sincerely swear allegiance to Hong Kong as an integral part of China are in violation of the Basic Law and therefore disqualified, the courts have upheld the principle of “One Country, Two Systems”.