The Heung Yee Kuk has vowed to “crush” the Hong Kong independence movement, according to a statement the powerful rural group placed in newspapers on Friday.

The full page statement appeared in the pro-Beijing Wen Wei Po and a scaled-down version in the Sing Tao Daily. It said that Hong Kong independence was “impossible and unfeasible”, and that the movement harmed the sovereignty of the country and interests of the city.

It said that Hong Kong has been a part of China since the Qin Dynasty, and the indigenous people of the New Territories have been a part of the Chinese nation for some 2,000 years.

The Heung Yee Kuk statement. Photo: HKFP.

‘Fought hard in blood’

The statement highlighted historical instances where indigenous people fought against the British army for three weeks as the colonial power took the New Territories.

“The villagers used primitive weapons in defence, however the British army was well-equipped, villagers suffered heavy casualties, and they had to give up without any alternative,” it said. “It showed that people of the New Territories fought hard in blood to defend the territorial integrity of the country, even losing their lives.”

The Kuk said it had participated in demanding the 1997 handover to China and its stance on defending Hong Kong’s territorial integrity has been very clear since then.

Photo: Kris Cheng, HKFP.

It also criticised those who joined the Mong Kok clashes in February, calling them “a small minority of radicals acting in the name of localism or even Hong Kong independence”.

“The Heung Yee Kuk will unite forces of loving the country, loving Hong Kong and loving our village, as in the past, to crush the arrogance of the Hong Kong independence forces without any hesitation,” it said.

“We urge the government to act upon the movement according to the law, to stop the growth of the Hong Kong independence forces [and] to seriously punish any illegal acts that damage Hong Kong’s prosperity and peace.”

Lau Wong-fat. File Photo: Apple Daily.

The Heung Yee Kuk is a statutory body made up of representatives of the Rural Committees in the New Territories. Full page statements are a commonly used means for the Kuk to express opinion. Previously, they published a statement on small house policy and a letter to Secretary for Development Paul Chan Mo-po.

In the latest revelations from the Panama Papers, Heung Yee Kuk former chairman Lau Wong-fat and incumbent Kenneth Lau Ip-keung were listed as British nationals.

An assistant of Lau Wong-fat told Ming Pao that he only owned a British Dependent Territories Citizen passport. The dependent territories passport was no longer valid after the 1997 handover. Kenneth Lau denied having British nationality through his assistant.


Kris Cheng

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.