Hong Kong and Chinese officials lashed out at recent pro-independence moves in Hong Kong Friday, declaring that they violate the Basic Law.

Demands for Hong Kong independence have “breached the bottom line of One Country, Two Systems,” said Zhang Xiaoming, director of the central government’s Liaison Office in Hong Kong.

Zhang xiaoming screenshot
Zhang Xiaoming. Photo: Screenshot via Now TV.

Meanwhile, Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor became the first top local government official to comment on the foundation of the pro-independence Hong Kong National Party (HKNP).

“Some matters are either black or white, right or wrong, it cannot be vague,” she said.

Freedom of speech

Zhang is the latest in a series of establishment figures to condemn the HKNP, which the Global Times previously described as a “practical joke.”

“I cannot be the least bit unclear in my response, because this has far exceeded the topic of freedom of speech,” said Zhang.

“These people cannot get what they want, or rather, they cannot succeed,” he added. He said that the issue cannot be allowed to become a bigger problem.

Beijing’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office said on Wednesday that the establishment of the HKNP violates the country’s constitution, the Basic Law and is a threat to national security.

Lam was equally strident in her denunciation of the pro-independence movement.

Carrie Lam
Carrie Lam. File

“Since Hong Kong has always been an inseparable part of China, and the ‘one country, two systems’ principle is a constitutional requirement, any suggestion about Hong Kong independence is wrong.”

“I hope everyone in society can see clearly that the suggestion violates the ‘one country, two systems’ principle, violates the Basic Law, ignores the well-being of seven million Hong Kong people, it must be condemned.”

Asked about the registration of the Hong Kong National Party, Lam said: “We work in accordance with the law when we handle applications made by any organisation and any person, Of course the most important one is the Basic Law.”

eric cheung
Professor Eric Cheung Tat-ming. File photo: HKFP.

Eric Cheung Tat-ming, law professor at the University of Hong Kong, said yesterday that while the HKNP’s stance may not conform to the Constitution of China and the Basic Law, the suggestion that it severely endangers the country is an exaggeration.

Pro-democracy Civic Party member and lawmaker Alvin Yeung said on RTHK radio that he did not think that establishing a party with the goal of Hong Kong independence violates Hong Kong law. However, he also said that he cannot see the promotion of Hong Kong independence benefiting Hong Kong.

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.