Posts Tagged ‘Chan Ho-tin’

Hong Kong: Declaration document saying Hong Kong is an “inalienable” part of China is unnecessary, illegal and wrong

August 2, 2016

Sherif Elgebeily says the Electoral Affairs Commission runs the risk of being seen as suppressing dissent with its decision to bar a localist candidate from running

COMMENTARY/Opinion

By Sherif Elgebeily
South China Morning Post
 

Last weekend, the Electoral Affairs Commission decided to invalidate the candidacy of Hong Kong National Party member Chan Ho-tin for the upcoming Legislative Council election. The exact reasons behind this are unclear, but other candidates who also refused to sign a newly imposed declaration form have yet to receive notice on the validity of their candidacies, fuelling concern.

The pledge to uphold the Basic Law is a fundamental part of the eligibility for candidacy, as outlined on the nomination form; it is for this reason that the ineligibility of Democratic Progressive Party of Hong Kong’s Yeung Ke-cheong – who refused to sign the nomination form itself – is legally valid.

Should Chan have been disqualified?

On one level, the additional declaration form is obsolete, as it simply duplicates existing obligations. Worse, it also appears to contravene both the rule of law in Hong Kong and the Basic Law in its effect.

First, there is no legal basis for the demand of an additional form, and the invalidation of candidacy on these grounds is beyond the powers of the commission. Any reference to such a form is absent in the law governing the election procedure; moreover, an exhaustive list of requirements for nomination is provided for under Section 40 of the Legislative Council Ordinance. Any legally enforceable declaration or criteria for the nomination of individuals would require amendments of the existing law, a path which has not been followed.

The commission has no absolute power to create new law

The commission has no absolute power to create new law. The form is also undermined by the commission’s own guidelines, which make mention of five explicit criteria for eligibility of nomination. They do not include the submission of a declaration form. These paradoxes raise alarm over the rule of law in Hong Kong, notably the separation of powers between government bodies and the supremacy of the law in an administrative context.

Second, in disqualifying candidates who are seen to advocate independence, on the grounds of failure to complete the declaration form, the commission has barred popularly supported candidates from representing their supporters. This infringes not only the rights of Hong Kong citizens to be elected, but also that of all citizens to elect their own representatives, and amounts to a violation of Article 26 of the Basic Law. To do so on the grounds of political belief also falls foul of articles 27 and 32 on free speech and the freedom of conscience. It is at best contradictory for the commission to disqualify candidates on the grounds of undermining the Basic Law while violating that document in doing so.

 Edward Leung speaks to the press last month. Leung received votes from some 66,000 Hong Kong people in the New Territories East by-election this year. Photo: AFP

Chan’s disqualification reflects a worrying trend of the regulation of Legco members. By eliminating voices of dissent at the ballot-paper stage, the authorities appear to be telling selected political groups that their opinions are either not welcome or not legitimate.

This rigid stance defies reality in today’s Hong Kong. Not all localist groups can be labelled anomalies. This year, for example, Hong Kong Indigenous’ Edward Leung Tin-kei won nearly 16 per cent of the vote in the New Territories East – over 66,000 voters in real terms. These citizens deserve to be heard.

Perhaps more importantly, voting patterns show that first-time and younger voters have been decidedly more involved in the election process, not only through casting ballots but also standing themselves. A new generation – those born after the handover – have reached voting age, and they care more about the status of Hong Kong and the full realisation of Basic Law freedoms than they do about the platforms that have traditionally formed political manifestos and campaigns. The government has a duty to engage with this demographic.

In essence, the decision to invalidate Legco candidacies over political stances is tantamount to the invalidation of the legitimacy of the voice of the youth today. From both a legal and political standpoint, the declaration form was unnecessary, illegal and threatens the future of the rule of law in Hong Kong.

Sherif Elgebeily (@selgebeily) is Bingham Centre International Rule of Law Visiting Fellow 2016, and a lecturer with the University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law

The Bingham Centre is a part of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law

Hong Kong: Pro-China Election Rules Changes Again Bring Out The Protesters

August 2, 2016
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Anyone running for the legislature must sign a document pledging to support the notion that Hong Kong is an “inalienable” part of China — If you don’t sign, you cannot be part of the election….
By Reuters
Tuesday, 2 August 2016 14:53 GMT

* Candidates must sign form rejecting independence stance

* Opponents say that is assault on democracy

* Four candidates disqualified so far

By Tyrone Siu

HONG KONG, Aug 2 (Reuters) – Dozens of masked demonstrators tried to force their way into an electoral meeting in Hong Kong on Tuesday to protest against a new bar on anyone running for the legislature who refuses to declare the territory an “inalienable” part of China.

They were among hundreds of protesters gathered outside the meeting, a briefing for prospective parliamentarians, shouting for Hong Kong’s independence.

Inside the venue, some candidates who had been approved to run for election protested the decision to disqualify others.

Members of the League of Social Democrats and People Power tried several times to charge the stage and take the microphone before being pushed back by security, forcing the meeting to be suspended at least three times.

Politicians from other pro-democracy parties chanted: “No more political elimination!” and “Defend a fair election!”

The Electoral Affairs Commission (EAC) said last month that potential candidates for the September Legislative Council election must sign an additional “confirmation form” declaring Hong Kong an inalienable part of China and acknowledging that advocating independence could disqualify them from the election.

Hong Kong has greater freedoms than mainland China and separate laws that were guaranteed for 50 years as part of a “one country, two systems” framework negotiated with the British when they handed back their former colony.

But there has been political unrest in recent years centring on Beijing’s refusal to allow fully democratic elections and its perceived meddling in the special administrative region.

Beijing’s top official in Hong Kong came out in support of the EAC’s new form while three Hong Kong politicians filed a request for an urgent judicial review.

So far the EAC has rejected four candidates. Activists have posted personal attacks on some of the EAC officers responsible for the decision, actions that the Hong Kong government has condemned.

Edward Leung Tin-kei, who was rejected as a candidate by the EAC on Tuesday, responded by saying the city was ruled by a “dictatorship”, local broadcaster RTHK reported.

Leung, a leader of the group Hong Kong Indigenous was one of the first street activists to move into mainstream politics when he won an unexpected 15 percent of the vote in a February legislative by-election.

He had signed the EAC’s confirmation form, saying his top priority was to get elected. (Writing by Clare Baldwin; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

Related:

Anger as Hong Kong pro-independence leader barred from polls — “Hong Kong’s Democratic Process is Rigged By China”

August 2, 2016

AFP

© AFP | Edward Leung of the Hong Kong Indigenous party, speaks to reporters outside the High Court on July 27, 2016

HONG KONG (AFP) – A high-profile Hong Kong pro-independence leader said Tuesday he had been barred from standing in upcoming parliamentary elections — the latest candidate backing separation from mainland China to be disqualified.

The apparent ban for Edward Leung, of the Hong Kong Indigenous party, from the September vote came despite him signing a controversial new form (document) declaring Hong Kong is an “inalienable” part of China.

Critics have slammed the new stipulation by electoral authorities as political censorship and an attempt to deter prospective candidates from advocating self-determination or independence from Beijing.

Some activists are calling for more distance or even a complete breakaway from the mainland as fears grow that freedoms in the semi-autonomous city are disappearing due to Beijing interference.

Campaigners, including Leung, have challenged the declaration form in court and at least 13 prospective candidates have refused to sign it.

Leung, 25, eventually signed last week, despite his open advocacy for an independent Hong Kong, in the hope the authorities would validate his candidacy.

But his party said Tuesday he had been rejected.

It accused the electoral commission of “trampling the will of the people, abusing administrative power and giving up political neutrality”.

“There is no way the crime of selecting candidates according to political goals can be easily forgiven,” it said in a statement.

The founder of the pro-independence Hong Kong National Party, Andy Chan, was one of three other hopefuls barred in recent days from standing in the September vote.

Chan had refused to sign the declaration form.

The other two prospective candidates who disqualified were also part of the “localist” movement, which is pushing for more autonomy for Hong Kong after mass pro-democracy rallies in 2014 failed to win political reform.

Beijing and Hong Kong officials have repeatedly said that advocating independence goes against the city’s mini constitution, known as the Basic Law, and that independence activists could face legal consequences.

Various government departments including the electoral office made no comment Tuesday.

The government Monday condemned what it called “malicious personal attacks” online aimed at returning officers over their decisions during the registration period and said police may take action.

Hong Kong was returned from Britain to China in 1997 under an arrangement that guarantees civil liberties unseen on the mainland.

But concerns have grown that such freedoms are now fading as Beijing increases its influence across a range of areas, from politics to the media.

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Mainland China’s continues to increase control over Hong Kong with “Rigged Election” — Second Pro-Independence candidate refuses to sign controversial declaration form that states Hong Kong is an “inalienable” part of China

July 31, 2016
Reuters
Sun Jul 31, 2016 10:49am EDT

Pro-independence Hong Kong National Party convenor Chan Ho-tin, speaks during a rally to protest against the disqualification of his application for Legislative Council election after he refused to sign a new controversial declaration form that states Hong Kong is an “inalienable” part of China
REUTERS/TYRONE SIU

A second local activist in Hong Kong has been disqualified from running in next month’s Legislative Council elections after declining to sign a new form saying the city is an “inalienable” part of China.

Yeung Ke-cheong, member of the Democratic Progressive Party, said in a Facebook post on Sunday that he had been barred, a day after Chan Ho-tin, a member of the Hong Kong National Party had also been disqualified.

Hong Kong’s Legislative Council plays a key role in scrutinizing bills, control public expenditure and handles complaints from the public. The election is being closely watched to see if pro-democracy candidates will be able to secure seats.

Chan received an email from the Electoral Affairs Commission on Saturday which said his application to join the election had been “invalidated”, fuelling speculation that others who hold pro-independence views also could be disqualified.

“The National Party is honored to become the first party to be banned from joining a democratic election by the government due to political difference,” the party wrote on its Facebook page.

The requirement that candidates pledge that the former British colony is part of China, and that advocating independence could make them ineligible to stand for election, is the latest in a series of issues that have raised concern about what many people in Hong Kong see as mainland China’s increasing control.

Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997 under a “one country, two systems” formula meant to guarantee the financial hub’s considerable freedoms and separate laws.

But China’s refusal to allow unfettered democracy in next year’s election for the city’s leader triggered pro-democracy protests in 2014, and spurred worries about the city’s future.

A series of issues since then has compounded those fears.

The government issued a statement saying it agreed to and supported the decision to disqualify Chan.

The activists are one of a number of pro-independence candidates who refused to sign the recently introduced additional declaration form.

Previously, candidates only needed to pledge to uphold Hong Kong laws.

A Hong Kong court declined to rule on Wednesday on a challenge filed by activist politicians to the new rule.

About 100 people joined a rally on Saturday night to support Chan.

(Reporting by Anne Marie Roantree and Farah Master; Editing by Kim Coghill and Alison Williams)

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Hong Kong pro-independence candidate’s application to join election “invalidated” — “Hong Kong has been giving away its rights and freedoms to the mainland”

July 31, 2016

Reuters
July 31, 2016

HONG KONG: A member of the pro-independence Hong Kong National Party has been disqualified from running in next month’s Legislative Council elections after he declined to sign a controversial new form saying the city is an “inalienable” part of China.

Chan Ho-tin received an email from the Electoral Affairs Commission on Saturday which said his application to join the election had been “invalidated”, fuelling speculation that others who hold pro-independence views also could be disqualified.

Chan Ho-tin, The Face of Pro-Independence in Hong Kong

“The National Party is honoured to become the first party to be banned from joining a democratic election by the government due to political difference,” the party wrote on its Facebook page.

The requirement that candidates pledge that the former British colony is part of China, and that advocating independence could make them ineligible to stand for election, is the latest in a series of issues that have raised concern about what many people in Hong Kong see as mainland China’s increasing control.

Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997 under a “one country, two systems” formula meant to guarantee the financial hub’s considerable freedoms and separate laws.

But China’s refusal to allow unfettered democracy in next year’s election for the city’s leader triggered pro-democracy protests in 2014, and spurred worries about the city’s future.

A series of issues since then has compounded those fears.

The government issued a statement saying it agreed to and supported the decision to disqualify Chan.

The activist is one of a number of pro-independence candidates who refused to sign the recently introduced additional declaration form.

Previously, candidates only needed to pledge to uphold Hong Kong laws.

A Hong Kong court declined to rule on Wednesday on a challenge filed by activist politicians to the new rule.

About 100 people joined a rally on Saturday night to support Chan.

(Reporting By Anne Marie Roantree; Editing by Kim Coghill)

(CNN) A top leadership candidate in Hong Kong has been banned from running in the upcoming elections after the government declared he “cannot possibly fulfill his duties as a legislator” while also pledging allegiance to his pro-independence party.

Chan Ho-tin of the Hong Kong National Party is part of a separatist movement that is largely on the fringe but gaining momentum ahead of the September election.
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Election officers have issued warnings to all candidates that they must vow to uphold Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, officially called the Basic Law. It’s a doctrine that includes a declaration stating the city is an “inalienable” part of China.
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Before being disqualified, Chan signed the pledge to uphold the Basic Law, which has governed Hong Kong since the former British colony was handed back to China in 1997.
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But Hong Kong authorities were skeptical, and Saturday they declared that Chan’s party is “inconsistent with the constitutional and legal status of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.”
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They added that “if a person advocates or promotes the independence of the HKSAR, he cannot possibly uphold the Basic Law.”
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The Hong Kong National Party responded with a statement saying it is “truly proud” to be the “first party to be barred from a democratic election by the Communist colonial government of Hong Kong.”
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The party calls for revoking Basic Law and the Sino-British Joint Declaration and establishing a new constitution.
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Many of the Hong Kong National Party followers come from a spontaneous revolution that began in 2014 but has since dwindled in momentum.
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Riot police use pepper spray as they clash with protesters September 28, 2014.

Since the handover from Britain, Hong Kong has been governed under China’s principle of “one country, two systems” — Hong Kong has been giving it rights and freedom unseen in the mainland and paving the way for a generation of protesters.
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But in September 2014, in the heart of Hong Kong, something changed.
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Pro-democracy protesters stand their ground in the financial district of Hong Kong on October 17, 2014.

Police in riot gear moved in on peaceful pro-democracy protesters, using tear gas to disperse the crowds.
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From these clashes emerged the Umbrella Movement,named for the umbrellas the protesters used to shield themselves from the tear gas and pepper spray.
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For 79 days, thousands of protesters occupied Hong Kong’s financial district and elsewhere to demand true universal suffrage — one person, one vote, without the interference of Beijing.
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But their demonstrations failed, and true democracy remains elusive.
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Since then, there have been growing concerns that Beijing is increasingly asserting its authority over Hong Kong, and many young activists avoid travel into mainland China.

http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/30/asia/hong-kong-election-ban/

Hong Kong: Top ranked Chinese official says he’ll listen to all sides as demands for true democracy and independence calls grow — “We want better quality of life.”

May 17, 2016
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World | Tue May 17, 2016 3:04am EDT

A local protester against mainland Chinese parallel traders carries a British Hong Kong colonial flag in Hong Kong, China, May 1, 2016.
REUTERS/BOBBY YIP

A top ranked Chinese official began a rare visit to Hong Kong on Tuesday vowing to listen to residents’ political concerns, seeking to address increasingly strident calls in the city for greater autonomy or even independence from the mainland.

The visit by Zhang Dejiang, the first by a senior Chinese figure since the 2014 Occupy democracy protests, was officially to attend an economic summit.

However, his first comments addressed the hot button political issue of Hong Kong’s relationship with China, a topic that has sparked fierce debate in the Asian financial hub.

“(I will listen to) all sectors of society’s suggestions and demands on how…the country and Hong Kong should develop,” Zhang told reporters at Hong Kong airport.

Following the unsuccessful Occupy protests of 2014, a handful of activists have been calling for an outright breakaway from China, a move some say would imperil Hong Kong’s economic and political future.

“These young people have no idea that they could be putting Hong Kong on a potentially dangerous collision course with the motherland and bringing an unmitigated disaster,” wrote former top Hong Kong security official Regina Ip in a recent editorial in the state-run China Daily.

Tensions in the city are high, with thousands police mobilized for Zhang’s visit.

Local media reported pavement bricks were being glued down to quell the prospect of violent protests while police were camping atop a mountain where a pro-democracy banner was hung two years ago.

A banner demanding “true universal suffrage” was hung on a different mountaintop on Tuesday morning.

Hong Kong democracy banner reappeared, not on Lion Rock where police officers are camped out, but on Beacon Hill, May 17, 2016. Credit Commercial Radio

“(We) are facing a very great threat from China: Our culture, our language, our people… we are dying!” Chan Ho-tin, the head of the newly-formed National party, told Reuters.

“Do (Hong Kong people) want to be a Chinese city or do they want to be an independent country? There are only two choices,” said Chan, whose party is expected to contest legislative elections in September.

Joshua Wong, another prominent young activist who launched a new political party called Demosisto this year, wouldn’t rule out taking an independence line in upcoming campaigns.

“The problem with young people is that they are not 100 percent pre-occupied with economic considerations,” said Michael Tien, a Hong Kong delegate to China’s parliament, the National People’s Congress, which Zhang heads.

“A lot of young people saying they don’t want development, they want a better environment, they want better work-life balance, they want better quality of life.”

Zhang Dejiang making remarks after his arrival in Hong Kong. Credit SCMP

“CLOSELY MONITORED”

Hong Kong guarantees freedom of expression under the agreement that saw Britain return its former colony to Beijing in 1997, but authorities haven’t ruled out taking action against pro-independence activists.

“Any suggestion that (Hong Kong) should be independent or any movement to advocate such independence… would be inconsistent with the legal status of Hong Kong,” the Department of Justice (DOJ) told Reuters.

The DOJ said it was watching for “possible criminal activities” and would “closely monitor the situation, maintain close liaison with the relevant law enforcement agencies, and take such action as may be necessary.”

Hong Kong authorities said the “counter-terrorism security measures” were needed to ensure the safety of dignitaries during the visit.

Hong Kong relies on China for vast sections of its economy, as well as much of its food, water and electricity, making independence almost impossible in practice.

China’s foreign ministry said pushing for independence would harm Hong Kong’s security, prosperity and stability.

“A lot of people in Hong Kong have jobs associated with the mainland,” said Holden Chow, vice-chairman of the DAB party, Hong Kong’s largest pro-Beijing political party.

“If there are no more economic ties… then where are the jobs? There would be a rise in unemployment.”

Observers with close ties to Chinese officials say one of Zhang’s priorities will be establishing relations with more moderate democrats to lower the heat.

“He will send a positive signal to any pan-democrat who is willing to have a dialogue with China,” Tien said.

“This must be one of his key missions: To make sure the signal is strong enough that the electorate won’t lambast the moderate pan-democrats and give all their votes to the extremists.”

(Additional reporting by Stefanie McIntyre, Pak Yiu, Stella Tsang, Teenie Ho and Venus Wu; Editing by James Pomfret and Lincoln Feast)

Related:

Beijing slams creation of Hong Kong independence party, saying it endangers national security

March 31, 2016

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But Hong Kong National Party remains defiant and threatens the city’s government to take action against it

By Phila Siu
South China Morning Post

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 March, 2016, 11:40pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 31 March, 2016, 10:03am
 

Beijing’s office in charge of Hong Kong affairs has slammed the establishment of a new political party advocating independence for the city as a serious violation of the country’s constitution, the Basic Law and a threat to national security.

The State Council’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office issued a strongly worded statement through the official Xinhua news agency on Wednesday, after the Hong Kong National Party ­announced its formation on Monday. It has yet to be ­registered.

The party, led by former Occupy activist Chan Ho-tin, has pledged to push for independence by, for example, fielding candidates in the Legislative Council elections in September.

“The establishment of a pro-independence party by an extremely small group of people in Hong Kong has harmed the country’s sovereignty and security, as well as endangered the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong,” a spokesman for the office was quoted as saying.

 Chan Ho-tin, convenor of Hong Kong National Party, announces establishment of the Party at Tuen Mun headquarters. Photo: Nora Tam

“It has also harmed the interests of Hong Kong.

“It is firmly opposed by all Chinese nationals, including some seven million Hong Kong people. It is also a serious violation of the country’s constitution, Hong Kong’s Basic Law and the relevant existing laws.”

The office said the Hong Kong government would handle the matter according to the law.

“We are aware that the Hong Kong SAR government has ­already rejected the party’s registration. It was a suitable action,” the office was quoted as saying.

But the party was undeterred.

It issued a statement on Wednesday saying a constitution is supposed to serve as a proclamation on how citizens are to be protected.

“It is ridiculous that the citizens are accused of violating the constitution,” the party said.

It also dismissed as “ridiculous” a warning on Tuesday by the Department of Justice that it might take legal action against the party.

“We will not be afraid of such draconian laws. Bring it on. We will push ahead with Hong Kong independence with Hong Kong people,” the party said.

A government spokesman ­replied: “Any suggestion that Hong Kong should be independent or any movement to advocate such ‘independence’ is against the Basic Law, and will undermine the stability and prosperity of Hong Kong and impair the interests of the general public.

“The SAR government will take action according to the law.”

Political commentator Johnny Lau Yui-siu said Beijing’s condemnation was “unnecessary” because pro-independence ­ideology had not gained support in the city.

“The statement would in fact drive more Hong Kong people to care about the issue of independence. They may not support it but they will think about it,” Lau said.

Additional reporting by Jeffie Lam

http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/1932190/beijing-slams-creation-hong-kong-independence-party-saying

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Hong Kong: New National Party will push for independence, in another political rejection of Mainland China Rule

March 30, 2016

Hong Kong National Party could be on thin ice with mainland authorities after declaring it will not recognise the Basic Law

By Owen Fung
South China Morning Post

A new group appearing to be at the extreme end of the localism movement is setting up a party to turn Hong Kong into an independent republic, swiftly inviting scepticism across the political divide.

Calling itself the Hong Kong National Party, the group said it would not recognise the Basic Law, the city’s mini-constitution, a stance that could have it mired in legal trouble.

Led by former Occupy Central activist Chan Ho-tin, the National Party will use “whatever effective means” available to push for independence, including fielding candidates in the Legislative Council elections in September and co-ordinating with other pro-independence localist groups.

“Staging marches or shouting slogans is obviously useless now. Regarding using violence, we would support it if it is effective to make us heard,” said Chan at a press conference he conducted alone on Monday at a flat in a Tuen Mun factory building.

He claimed the party was funded entirely by the donations of its 50-plus members, mostly university students and young activists.

Its emergence comes amid a rising tide of localism, encouraged by the unexpectedly credible showing of localist candidate Edward Leung Tin-kei in last month’s Legco by-election.

In calling for outright independence, the new group is at the extreme end of the political spectrum. By comparison, a new party being set up by former core leaders of the now-suspended student group Scholarism has stopped short of advocating independence, despite the call for “self-determination by Hong Kong people”.

Five other localists, who are planning to vie for seats in the September elections, also only claim they would seek a referendum for Hongkongers to decide how to amend the Basic Law.

Some pro-establishment figures have warned against taking the latest group too lightly.

Lau Nai-keung, a member of the influential Basic Law Committee, said: “Perhaps the Hong Kong government has been too tolerant about such lousy calls for independence. It is flatly against the Basic Law. I am not sure why we should let it exist.”

Article One of the Basic Law states that Hong Kong “is an inalienable part of” China.

Political affairs observer Dr James Sung Lap-kung of City University doubted if a party that explicitly advocated independence could survive for long. “It is totally against the mainstream political sentiment here. I would be surprised it is able to secure financial sources or sufficient donations to sustain its operation.”

Democratic Party lawmaker James To Kun-sun, a lawyer, doubted if such a party could get proper registration under Hong Kong laws. Under the present ordinance, a company name will not be registered if, in the registrar’s opinion, its use would constitute a criminal offence, or it is offensive or otherwise contrary to the public interest.

“Even if you register it under another name and operate it with the party name, the government can de-register your company,” said To.

Meanwhile, Edward Leung of the localist group Hong Kong Indigenous welcomed Chan’s party and hoped to have closer co-operation.

But Labour Party lawmaker Cyd Ho Sau-lan, convenor of an alliance of 23 pan-democrats, tried to keep a distance. “Regardless of whether they advocate for independence or not, it would depend on their work plan,” she said.

Independence would destroy the city
EXECUTIVE COUNCILLOR IP KWOK-HIM
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Newly appointed Executive Councillor Ip Kwok-him, of the city’s leading pro-establishment party, the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, doubted the party would gain widespread public support.

“Independence would destroy the city. It would neither be accepted by the central government nor the public,” he said.

http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/1931384/hong-kong-national-party-born-will-push-independence-will