Yau Ching-yuen, founder of news website Post 852 and a former chairperson of the Hong Kong University Student Union, assailed a government official for forcing people to categorically state their views about independence, likening his stance to that of cadres during the Cultural Revolution.
Yau said Andrew Fung Wai-kwong, an information coordinator at the Office of the Chief Executive and also a former chairman of HKUSU, should come out with solid evidence that certain people are promoting independence, rather than basing his accusations on magazine articles, Apple Daily reported.
Yau, Fung and other former HKUSU officials discussed the topic of Hong Kong independence at the weekly RTHK radio program City Forum on Sunday.
The issue gained prominence after Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying charged in his policy address last week that the Undergrad, an HKUSU publication, was promoting “self-reliance and self-determination” for the territory.
Yau said he does not agree with the view that Hong Kong should seek independence, and instead is proposing a federal system to govern the relationship between Hong Kong and Beijing.
But he insisted that Hong Kong people should not be forced to express their views about independence and should enjoy the right to remain silent.
Forcing people to declare their opposition to Hong Kong independence is a dangerous move, Yau said, adding that it is like what the Communist Party did during the Cultural Revolution.
During the public forum, Fung blasted the Undergrad for publishing articles advocating Hong Kong independence, which he called a serious and dangerous idea.
Fung asserted that Hong Kong people, despite all their complaints against the administration, should never call for independence as they cannot abandon their Chinese identity and the city is part of China.
Keyvin Wong Chun-kit, former deputy editor-in-chief of the HKUSU magazine, admitted during the program that he supported Hong Kong independence.
“What’s there for Hong Kong if the Communist Party collapses? Will Hong Kong have a future?” Wong asked.
He said the blame should go to Beijing for abandoning its promise of maintaining the “one country, two systems” policy in Hong Kong.
“If there should be people calling for independence, it is the price that China has to pay for its actions,” Wong said.
Legislator Ip Kin-yuen, a deputy chairperson of the student union in 1983, said it is important that people are allowed to express their views on the issue of independence, adding that he is suspicious of CY Leung’s motive is stirring up the controversy.
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