Hong Kong people should decide the city’s future through internal self-determination, a new 30th anniversary manifesto of a pro-democracy party has declared. But the party denied the call was seeking Hong Kong independence. The announcement of the manifesto came after similar calls from other pro-democracy groups recently.

The Association for Democracy and People’s Livelihood was formed in 1986, commonly known as a party more focused on grassroots issues with 18 district councillors and a lawmaker. It said in the new manifesto that the hopes for democracy after the return to China in the past 30 years have failed, and Hong Kong has become a city ruled by Beijing officials.

ADPL manifesto
Photo: ADPL.

“Facing the second fundamental question on our future, this time after 2047, we believe that only through Hong Kong people’s self-determination, implementing democratic self-rule, can we truly realise Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong, to continue Hong Kong’s uniqueness – it is the best way out for Hong Kong’s future,” it read.

It added Hong Kong people should decide internally the choice of Chief Executive, the method for elections to the Legislative Council, the direction of economic development, the planning of Hong Kong, education policy and the approval of new immigrants, among other issues.

“We need to stop Hong Kong’s internal affairs being invaded by the integration of China and Hong Kong, which hurts autonomy,” it read.

police district election
A policeman walks past the entrance of a polling station in the Central district of Hong Kong on November 22, 2015. Photo: AFP/Anthony Wallace.

The manifesto also said that the party would participate in resistance with diversified strategies.

“We do not resist carrying out meaningful discussions with the Central Government in resolving conflicts through good interaction,” it read. “As an international city, we also do not resist cooperation between China and Hong Kong that will benefit Hong Kong’s society and economy.”

The party said it will continue their peaceful protests inside and outside the legislature, to push for bottom-up civil participation, but the party’s leader Rosanda Mok Ka-han said at a press conference held to release the manifesto that it will not actively seek conversations with Beijing while Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying is still in office, and in the next five years if Leung is re-elected.

Kalvin Ho Kai-ming
Kalvin Ho Kai-ming. File

The new manifesto was similar to a declaration signed by over 30 young individuals from various pro-democracy groups, including Kalvin Ho Kai-ming, the party’s district councillor and a potential candidate to run for a “super district council” functional constituency seat in September.

Both Ho and its lawmaker Frederick Fung Kin-kee said that independence for Hong Kong would not be an option under the self-determination framework.

In March, the pro-democracy Civic Party also issued a new tenth anniversary manifesto, apparently moving its position towards localism in order to protect Hong Kong’s autonomy.

Kris Cheng

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.