Pro-Beijing figures again slammed the idea of Hong Kong separatism, calling it “impossible” and “impractical” on Tuesday. The controversial idea came into the spotlight once more after an article calling for Hong Kong’s independence from China was published in the University of Hong Kong’s student publication “Undergrad”.

The piece, entitled “Our 2047” called upon Hong Kong’s youth to decide the city’s fate after 2047 – the last year in which the One Country, Two Systems arrangement, which guarantees Hong Kong’s autonomy, will be in place. Published on Sunday, the article called for Hong Kong to become an independent state recognised by the United Nations.

Photo: Screenshot via “Undergrad”

Pro-Beijing lawmaker Starry Lee Wai-king also said on Commercial Radio on Wednesday that “I believe that any kind of movement to push for Hong Kong separatism is equal to committing suicide… I definitely understand why the youth have this kind of thinking. But thinking about the whole problem, aside from ‘Hong Kong belonging to Hongkongers’, I always say that we need to think for another perspective. Hong Kong belongs to the whole China.” She added if Hong Kong wanted more freedom, talking about separatism will not help them achieve their demands.

On Tuesday, Pro-establishment figure Arthur Li, chairman of the University of Hong Kong Council, also said that “if Hong Kong had independence, where would our water come from? Where would our food come from?… You can see that this is impractical… I think oftentimes, [students] want to provoke the central government and provoke the HK government… I believe that those who have wisdom will know that it is impossible for Hong Kong to have independence.”

Arthur Li. File Photo: Stand News.

Also speaking at HKU on Tuesday, Pro Beijing figure and former secretary for justice Elsie Leung told reporters that since she had not seen the article, “it would not be fair to criticise, but everybody knows that Hong Kong independence is impossible because in terms of history, culture, blood ties, and nation, we’re the same as the mainland and we can’t easily sever those ties. Democracy doesn’t necessarily have to be achieved through independence,” she said.

Qiao Xiaoyang, a member of the National People’s Congress Law Committee, told reporters in Beijing on Tuesday that Hong Kong students cannot ask for independence.

Chantal Yuen

Chantal Yuen is a Hong Kong journalist interested in issues dealing with religion and immigration. She majored in German and minored in Middle Eastern studies at Princeton University.