A young newly-elected localist district councillor has become the chair of the North District Council.

Localism refers to a recent pro-democracy faction which seeks to protect local interests. The camp is also tied with movements related to the expansion of Hong Kong’s autonomy, for example advocating for city-state status or – in some cases – outright independence. 

Jasper Law, 25, was elected via the Queen’s Hill constituency for the first time last November as democrats swept to victory across the territory. He was elected on Tuesday as his district council’s chair.

Jasper Law Dino Chan
From left: Jasper Law and Dino Chan. Photo: Facebook/Jasper Law.

The Democratic Party’s Dino Chan, 31, who won re-election via the Cheung Wah constituency, became vice-chair. Both won without contest.

Law said at the Tuesday meeting that he is the first localist district council chair since the Handover took place 22 years ago. His district, bordering mainland China, represents the frontline in the anti-extradition bill protests, he said.

Large-scale protests against the now-axed bill have been ongoing since last June. The demonstrations have evolved into sometimes violent displays of dissent against police action, amid calls for democracy and anger over Beijing’s encroachment.

“I will do my best… to defend Hong Kong and fight back against tyranny,” he said.

january 5 parallel sheung shui trading
Photo: Joshua Kwan/United Social Press.

He said the recent protests highlighted Hong Kong’s problems, including how the Basic Law fails to restrict the government’s power and protect residents’ rights.

“The police abused their powers and committed evil of all kinds. We can only give power to the people by reforming the police and our constitution,” he said.

He said the popular protest slogan “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times,” coined by now-jailed localist activist Edward Leung, was not supported by the pro-democracy camp when it was first chanted four years ago. However, democrats have now accepted the slogan, he said.

“I am very touched that [the pro-democracy camp] supported my bid as chair knowing that I am a localist,” he said.

Edward Leung
Edward Leung. Photo: Facebook/Edward Leung.

Law said protesters should try their best to remove “the Carrie Lam dictatorship puppet regime” from power.

“To those councillors who elected me: Our final goal is to win Government House, and become part of the governing alliance of the administration,” he said.

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.