There is no need to talk about Hong Kong independence, as the government has put Hong Kong people’s interests as its priority, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has said.

Leung was speaking a week after the formation of the pro-independence Hong Kong National Party, which was slammed by China’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office as a threat to national security. China Liaison Office director Zhang Xiaoming and Chief Secretary Carrie Lam also voiced criticism.

Ahead of the weekly Executive Council meeting on Tuesday, Leung also commented on the recent surge in interest on the issue.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying.
Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying. File Photo: Gov HK.

“About Hong Kong independence, we will handle it in accordance with the law. From the political perspective, I know there are people, including some young ones, who questioned whether the interests of Hong Kong were influenced or eroded by the mainland,” he said.

“You can look at the three-year period since this administration came to office, we have adopted a ‘Hong Kong people first’ policy in every livelihood issue, and have seen results,” he added.

hong kong china independence protest
Photo: HKFP.

Leung mentioned measures such as the zero quota for mainland pregnant women giving birth in Hong Kong, a ban on parallel traders taking more than two cans of baby formula milk across the border, and extra stamp duty to discourage mainland investors from buying flats in Hong Kong.

“These proved that the government has adopted a ‘Hong Kong people first’ policy on Hong Kong and mainland issues, especially on those where shortages could easily arise, so there is no need to raise this issue to the level of whether Hong Kong need to get independence in order to safeguard Hong Kong people’s interests,” he concluded.

Leung was also asked by reporters whether he will seek re-election next year.

“I will not comment on re-election now. Our focus is on doing various aspects of work well,” he said.

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.