China steps up rhetoric in criticism of young Hong Kong lawmakers


Newly elected pro-democracy lawmakers Yau Wai-ching (L) and Baggio Leung check their smartphones after taking oath at the Legislative Council in Hong Kong, China October 12, 2016. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

Newly elected pro-democracy lawmakers Yau Wai-ching (L) and Baggio Leung check their smartphones after taking oath at the Legislative Council in Hong Kong, China October 12, 2016. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

China on Friday expressed “great indignation and strong condemnation” of two Hong Kong lawmakers who raised the disputed issue of independence this week at their official swearing-in ceremony.

The topic of independence was once regarded as taboo in the former British colony, now governed under a “one country, two systems” principle since its return to Chinese rule in 1997.

But some young people in the financial hub have begun calling for greater autonomy for the city, ranging from self-determination to independence, after months of pro-democracy protests in 2014 failed to lead to any concessions from Beijing.

On Wednesday, two of 70 newly elected legislators, 25-year-old Yau Wai-ching and 30-year-old Baggio Leung, pledged their allegiance to a “Hong Kong nation” and displayed a “Hong Kong is not China” banner while they took their oaths of office, which were later ruled as invalid by the legislature’s head clerk.

The official Xinhua news agency on Friday quoted an unnamed officer at the liaison office, Beijing’s symbol in Hong Kong, as calling their behavior “despicable”.

“Certain legislators-elect openly displayed the relevant banner and promoted Hong Kong independence. This seriously violated the country’s constitution, Hong Kong’s Basic Law and the relevant laws,” the officer said. “We express our great indignation and strong condemnation.”

The officer also criticized the lawmakers for making the word “China” sound like “Shina,” a derogatory term that the Japanese used when they occupied China during World War Two.

Yau and Leung have told reporters their oaths should not be ruled invalid based on their choice of clothing, and they blamed their pronunciation on their accent.

The pair, along with lawmaker Edward Yiu whose vow was ruled invalid after he added a line about fighting for genuine universal suffrage, will have another chance to swear in next Wednesday.

(Reporting by Venus Wu; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

Source: Reuters “China steps up rhetoric in criticism of young Hong Kong lawmakers”

Note: This is Reuters report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.

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8 Comments on “China steps up rhetoric in criticism of young Hong Kong lawmakers”

  1. Joseph says:

    What does the photo mean? Two ‘lawmakers’? All I see is two smartphone junkies. And if they can’t even pronounce words correctly, how are they going to address issues? Through gossip? Clothing is not the issue, they can go naked for people to care. But for them to be lawmakers would mean that they have to work hard to represent the people, not to be busy with their smartphones at works. At least be discreet at using their gossip equipments at work. If they were my employees, I would have sacked them on the spot. We must have disciplines at work place. After all how do we know that they do not actually watch pornos at work?

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  2. Simon says:

    Failure to swear in the oath in the proper legal manner is automatic dismissal. If they fail the second time they should be barred from office and not even allowed to stand for re-election. Clearly their action is to cause trouble and not offer HK anything beneficial. HK do not need a bunch of losers without any experience in helping benefit the welfare of HK setting out its laws when they have none except anti China.

    To become anti China true and thru I recommend these activists go and jump into the sea and never set foot in HK and any other part of China again. If they don’t want to be Chinese I welcome their democratic rights to piss off to another country. By remaining in HK you are living in Chinese soil, speaking Chinese language, breathing Chinese air, drinking China waters and eating Chinese food.

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    • Jane says:

      The British have never allowed IRA members elected in Northern Ireland to take their seats in Parliament. They refused to swear allegiance to the Queen, which the law says that all Members of Parliament must do.

      Hong Kong follows British precedents from before 1997. Therefore, legislators who refuse to swear allegiance to the People’s Republic of China cannot be allowed to take their seats in the Legislative Council.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Simon says:

    Those two referring to China as “Shina” should be regarded as traitors and betrayer of their own kind. They are a disgrace without honour. HK do not want these idiots as lawmakers. I hope they get kicked out and shops in HK should stop serving them.

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  4. johnleecan says:

    Yau Wai-ching, Baggio Leung and Edward Yiu should not be qualified as legislators. Those who like the western type of democracy have the option to emigrate. Maybe they have never been to these western countries wherein the peace and order is deteriorating, loss of economic opportunities, high unemployment, racial discrimination, racial profiling among others. All they see are their TV shows, movies and supposedly free media.

    People who criticize China obviously haven’t been to China and all their perception about China are what they read in the mainstream propaganda media. Others are simply envious of China.

    Maybe the Chinese government should stripped them of their citizenship, remove all their rights as citizens, and give them an ultimatum of to get out of Chinese territory or face arrest. Let them rush over to the American embassy to seek asylum.

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  5. Steve says:

    ‘Hong Kong is Not China’.? Just arrest these traitors for disturbing the peace and harmony of the the One Country (China) Two Systems principle. They have no shame and will never support the principle.

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