Forget about independence for Hong Kong, says Regina Ip

January 26, 2015 11:05
Regina Ip urged the government to genuinely try to engage with youths who don't understand it is possible to have one country and two systems. Photo: HKEJ

Hong Kong does not have the prerequisites to become independent, and the government should genuinely seek direct talks with youths who persist in such wishful thinking, lawmaker Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee said.

Most people understand the city does not have the ability to stand alone, not to mention establish its own army, the New People's Party chairwoman and former secretary for security said in an interview with the Hong Kong Economic Journal published Monday.

Thoughts of independence -- as advocated by theories like the "national separatism movement" or the "national self-determination of peoples" and the "Hong Kong autonomy movement" -- are a dead end, Ip said.

She said they stem from worries about "one country" superseding the principle of "one country, two systems".

Those theories are biased because of excessive coverage of the corruption problem in the mainland and the exclusionary mindset of Hongkongers caused by the perception that mainlanders are snapping up local resources, from baby formula to tertiary education places, Ip said.

The loss of confidence in the "one country, two systems" principle reflects Hongkongers' concerns about the city's core values being engulfed by stronger national values, she said.

Ip, who it is widely speculated will run in the election for chief executive in 2017, urged the Hong Kong government to create policies and measures that help enhance young people's understanding of how it is possible to have one country and two systems.

The country protects and supports the city, she said, and the city can contribute to the country. 

Ip said the Hong Kong government does not have the resources in its current term to push forward the legislation of a national security law based on Article 23 of the Basic Law.

She said Hong Kong would have to implement China's national security law only if there were immediate threats to the country's national security; for example, a military attack on China through Hong Kong or the destruction of the Hong Kong government offices.  

-- Contact us at [email protected]


Freelance journalist