The Chairman of Chinese newspaper Ming Pao Daily has spoken out against Hong Kong independence while urging the city to take advantage of One Country, Two Systems, at a summit on China’s 13th Five Year Plan on Monday.

Tiong Hiew King, Chair of Media Chinese, made the comments while attending a summit hosted by Ming Pao at the Four Seasons Hotel. “Hong Kong independence is a complete non-issue, because Hong Kong should not, and cannot have independence. Most Hong Kong people would not agree [with independence], and the country also would not allow it.”

He also said that people with ulterior motives are using the issue for their own gain, and that Hong Kong will pay a huge price, RTHK reported.

Tiong Hiew King.

“A conflict that is born out of Hong Kong independence will very likely seal the fate for Hong Kong’s future,” Tiong said. “Therefore, I hope the violence and [the discussion about] independence will be short-lived.”

Tiong urged a return to peaceful, rational and non-violent means of dispute resolution. He also said that there should not be justifications for violence and one should not adopt extreme means to express their discontent towards society, Ming Pao reported.

Tiong said that One Country, Two Systems was the best political status for Hong Kong, as the city was close to the mainland and yet connected to the rest of the world. He said he hoped that Hongkongers would take advantage of that, and stressed the importance of China’s 13th five-year plan and One Belt, One Road to opening up more opportunities for Hong Kong.

The summit was also attended by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, Financial Secretary John Tsang, and Secretary for Innovation and Technology Nicholas Yang.

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.