Bei­jing sees ‘grave threat’ from Hong Kong ac­tivists

7 Days in Dubai - - GLOBAL NEWS -

Bei­jing must in­ter­vene in a Hong Kong po­lit­i­cal dis­pute to de­ter ad­vo­cates of in­de­pen­dence for the city, China’s top leg­isla­tive panel said, call­ing their ac­tions a threat to na­tional se­cu­rity.

The Stand­ing Com­mit­tee of China’s rub­ber­stamp legislature, the Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress, said in a state­ment that Bei­jing could not af­ford to do noth­ing in the face of chal­lenges in Hong Kong to China’s au­thor­ity, the of­fi­cial Xin­hua News Agency re­ported.

The dis­pute in Hong Kong cen­tres on a provoca­tive dis­play of anti-China sen­ti­ment by two pro-in­de­pen­dence law­mak­ers, Six­tus Le­ung and Yau Wai-ching, at their swearing-in last month.

The leg­isla­tive panel said the two Hong Kong law­mak­ers’ words and ac­tions “posed a grave threat to na­tional sovereignty and se­cu­rity”, Xin­hua said.

If such a sit­u­a­tion were to per­sist, the com­mit­tee said, it would hurt the in­ter­ests of Hong Kong’s residents and the coun­try’s progress.

“The cen­tral govern­ment can­not sit idly and do noth­ing,” it said.

The state­ment fol­lowed dis­cus­sions by the top leg­isla­tive panel on is­su­ing an in­ter­pre­ta­tion of an ar­ti­cle in Hong Kong’s con­sti­tu­tion, known as the Ba­sic Law, that cov­ers oaths by law­mak­ers. Le­ung and Yau of the rad­i­cal Youngspi­ra­tion party al­tered their oaths to in­sert a dis­parag­ing Ja­panese term for China. Dis­play­ing a flag read­ing “Hong Kong is not China”, they vowed to de­fend the “Hong Kong na­tion”, Le­ung crossed his fin­gers while Yau used the swear lan­guage in her pledge.

Their oaths were ruled in­valid but at­tempts at a do-over have re­sulted in may­hem in the legislature’s weekly ses­sions.

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