The swearing-in session of the Legislative Council on Wednesday was adjourned after pro-establishment lawmakers walked out in an effort to block three lawmakers from retaking their oaths.

Pro-Beijing lawmaker Wong Ting-kwong, who left out one instance of “Hong Kong” in his oath during last week’s swearing-in session, was the first to retake the pledge on Wednesday, followed by architecture functional lawmaker Edward Yiu Chung-yim.

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Oath-taking fallout on Wednesday. Photo: HKFP

Before independent lawmaker-elect Lau Siu-lai and Youngspiration’s Yau Wai-chin and “Baggio” Leung Chung-hang could retake their oaths, pro-establishment lawmakers staged a walkout.

Their action led to an adjournment of the swearing-in session as the number of lawmakers present fell below the quorum requirement.

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Independent Paul Tse Wai-chung earlier demanded the Youngspiration duo apologise, and urged other pro-establishment politicians to walk out of the chamber in protest.

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Independent Paul Tse. Photo: HKFP.

Pro-democracy lawmakers called the pro-Beijing camp’s walkout a “violent and blunt” action.

Cheng Chung-tai of localist party Civic Passion said: “This is how [the pro-Beijing camp] does harm to Hong Kong society.”

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Pan-democrats protest. Photo: HKFP.

Pro-Beijing lawmaker Martin Liao Cheung-kong said: “To deprive the chamber of a quorum was a difficult, painful decision. When Paul Tse suggested the tactic, we did not know the government would file for an injunction.”

Late on Tuesday, the High Court denied an application for an interim injunction launched by the government to block the Youngspiration politicians from re-taking their oaths. However, the government was granted leave for judicial review and a hearing is scheduled for November 3.

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Martin Liao.

Youngspiration’s Leung earlier said that the pronunciation of China as “Chee-na” in last week’s oath-taking session is due to his “Ap Lei Chau” accent. “Chee-na” has a similar pronunciation as “Shina,” an archaic Japanese term that is now considered offensive to many Chinese people.

Leung said that he planned to retake the pledge in Cantonese.

Ellie Ng has written for Foreign Policy, the Daily Telegraph, Global Voices Online and others.