Xi urges HK chief to uphold national unity
BEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinping has called on Hong Kong chief executive Leung Chun-ying to uphold national unity and maintain social and political stability, state news agency Xinhua said yesterday.
A meeting of the two political leaders on the sidelines of the Apec summit in the Peruvian capital Lima comes amid deepening concerns in Beijing over a fledgling independence movement in Hong Kong and recent street protests in the city.
Xi said he hopes Leung “resolutely upholds national unity and maintains social and political stability”, said Xinhua, adding Xi offered Leung and his government full support.
His remarks echoed comments the Chinese president made in Beijing last week when he said China will never allow any part of its territory to break off.
“Very simply put and very forcefully, the president said there is no room whatsoever for Hong Kong independence under the ‘one country, two systems’ arrangement,” Leung told reporters, adding they did not discuss the issue in length during the meeting that lasted 45 minutes.
Hong Kong’s High Court last week backed a government demand to bar two recently elected lawmakers from the city’s legislature, after the court and Beijing both ruled they had insulted China when taking their oath of office.
Before the ruling, 2,000 lawyers protested against Beijing stepping in and interpreting the city’s mini-constitution in the middle of the lawsuit, a move they said interfered with Hong Kong’s judicial independence.
Leung said Xi affirmed that the legal interpretation was “necessary”. – Reuters