An illegal group called Hong Kong National Front claimed this week it had joined forces with a separatist student organization by the name of Studentlocalism to re-launch a publicity drive in Hong Kong schools and universities to spread “pro-independence” messages.
Some observers believe separatist groups in question are worried they have become irrelevant since the previous publicity campaign about a year ago went out like a puff of smoke. Others have warned the public as well as relevant authorities against letting their guard down, considering the negative repercussions from a spate of separatist actions in the beginning of the current semester.
It is widely agreed that Hong Kong society may be tolerant to different political views in general but has little sympathy toward separatist sentiments, especially those that become criminal acts. Still, the special administrative region government and school administrators are obligated to ban “pro-independence” activities on local campuses, because authorities risk ruining the future of some students if they fail to prevent separatism from poisoning young minds, which they are supposed to nurture and protect, and leading them into illegal activities. It is absolutely essential to educate younger generations about the danger and futility of “Hong Kong independence”, perhaps citing the recent surge and subsequent defeat of attempts to gain independence for the autonomous region of Catalonia in Spain. There are plenty of reasons why separatism seldom succeeds, and in China, is downright impossible.
The Constitution of the People’s Republic of China and the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region stipulate that Hong Kong is an inalienable part of Chinese territory and the great majority of local residents are Chinese citizens, not to mention the strong family ties between many Hong Kong residents and their mainland compatriots. That is why most Hong Kong people are patriotic despite separatist attempts to try to make them otherwise. They will willingly help safeguard the nation’s sovereignty, security and development interests in whatever way they can. At the very least they should and would say no to separatism readily when confronted by advocates of such illegal pursuits.
Separatist groups invariably use “localism” as rallying call to hide their illegal pursuit of “Hong Kong independence” or “absolute autonomy”. But they would never deny their real aspirations when it comes to seeking public support for their true cause. That is why they wage publicity campaigns from time to time for “Hong Kong independence” in the name of free speech or “exploring the future of Hong Kong” despite the fact that their arguments are devoid of common sense — or legal grounds. But there is no denying they do have a few young followers on Hong Kong campuses. That is reason enough for all university and secondary-school operators to ban separatist propaganda. If they don’t they may be held responsible for allowing their students to be corrupted by illegal activities.