Fight sep­a­ratism in HK

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - COMMENT -

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping, in a meet­ing with Le­ung Chun-ying, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Hong Kong Spe­cial Ad­min­is­tra­tive Re­gion, in Beijing on Fri­day, praised Le­ung and the SAR gov­ern­ment for their ef­forts to safe­guard na­tional sovereignty and the prin­ci­ple of One Coun­try, Two Sys­tems. This is yet an­other sig­nal to those in­tent on seek­ing “Hong Kong in­de­pen­dence” that the au­thor­i­ties have zero tol­er­ance for sep­a­ratism and will never let their guard down against it.

Le­ung, who was de­liv­er­ing his work re­port for the year, was on what is ex­pected to be his fi­nal duty visit to Beijing as chief ex­ec­u­tive, as his term in of­fice ends on July 1 next year. Xi’s re­marks em­pha­size that there should be no doubt that the next chief ex­ec­u­tive is ex­pected to fol­low Le­ung’s ex­am­ple and ex­er­cise the ut­most vig­i­lance against sep­a­ratism.

Hong Kong’s rule of law has been chal­lenged re­peat­edly by sep­a­ratist groups, some­times vi­o­lently, since the Oc­cupy Cen­tral il­le­gal move­ment in fall 2014. As re­cently as last month, some law­mak­ers elect demon­strated their “in­de­pen­dence” as­pi­ra­tions by vi­o­lat­ing Ar­ti­cle 104 of the Ba­sic Law and Sec­tion 21 of HK’s Oaths and Dec­la­ra­tions Or­di­nance. Two of them — Le­ung Chung-hang and Yau Waich­ing — have since been dis­qual­i­fied as Leg­isla­tive Coun­cil mem­bers by the High Court.

So far those sep­a­ratist op­po­si­tion politi­cians have shown no sign of re­morse. On the con­trary, they are so­lic­it­ing cash do­na­tions to fund their court cases and seek­ing as­sis­tance else­where, which sug­gests the fight against sep­a­ratism will very likely in­ten­sify in the days ahead.

Since those seek­ing “in­de­pen­dence” jeop­ar­dize the SAR’s eco­nomic devel­op­ment and so­cial sta­bil­ity, also un­der­mine na­tional sovereignty and se­cu­rity, the au­thor­i­ties should con­tinue to con­tain “Hong Kong in­de­pen­dence” ac­cord­ing to the law. This is the only way to re­spect the wishes of the over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity of HK res­i­dents and pro­tect the in­ter­ests of both the SAR and the coun­try.

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