China is warning against any political party that advocates Hong Kong independence, saying it is a direct challenge to its sovereignty and contravenes “one country two systems”.
Zhang Xiaoming, director of the central government’s liaison office in Hong Kong, said such a political group is “unacceptable”, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
Zhang echoed Wang Ziming, deputy director of the Hong Kong And Macau Affairs Office, who earlier said those who promote Hong Kong independence violate the law.
The remarks by two of the most senior Chinese officials responsible for Hong Kong followed Sunday’s launch of the Hong Kong National Party which calls for an independent state.
Zhang warned that any such state is a challenge to Chinese sovereignty and threatens national security, as well as Hong Kong’s own prosperity and “fundamental interests”.
He compared the nascent party to a “snake being cradled in the bosom”.
Tung Chee-hwa, Hong Kong’s first post-colonial leader, called on Hongkongers to reject the party.
In separate editorials, Pro-Beijing newspapers Wen Wei Po and Ta Kung Pao urged the Hong Kong government to forbid any public activity related to the new party.
The government has disapproved the party’s registration.
Johannes Chan, former law dean of the University of Hong Kong, said discussing Hong Kong independence is not illegal but taking steps in that direction breaks the law.
HKU principal law lecturer Eric Cheung warned that pro-independence advocates are giving Beijing an excuse to push for a Hong Kong national security law.
The proposed anti-subversion and anti-secession legislation has been mothballed since 2003 after widespread protests.
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