A plain clothes sergeant from the Police Public Engagement Office was present at the press conference of pro-independence Hong Kong National Party (HKNP) on Sunday to “understand the situation,” according to local media.

The police sergeant, who was present for the entire duration of the conference, told Ming Pao that it was normal practice. The HKNP was not notified that police would be coming, according to the newspaper.

hong kong national party chan ho-tin
The press conference. Photo: iCable screencap via Stand News.

The police told local media that the police will keep in contact and communicate with different groups at times and that it does not mean that they are collecting evidence.

Seeking independence in LegCo

The HKNP has submitted its application to run in the upcoming Legislative Council elections in September. Convenor Chan Ho-tin said at the press conference that they “will definitely not stop at Hong Kong independence” and their participation in the elections is “only one step in its blueprint” to “build a country” in which Hongkongers can “live happily.”

He also said that the party would aim to abolish the Basic Law, and to withdraw citizenship for children who are born of two non-permanent resident parents, among other goals.

hong kong national party chan ho-tin
HKNP Convenor Chan Ho-tin. File photo: SocREC screencap, via Facebook.

Chan said that the party has asked the Electoral Office if it was necessary to sign a controversial declaration which states Hong Kong is part of China in their application to run in the election. He said that if their candidacy application is rejected, they may take legal action, including filing for judicial review.

The HKNP was denied registration by the Companies Registry “due to “political reasons” in March and was named by Chinese state media Global Times as a “practical joke.

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.