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Friday, August 5, 2016, 16:01

'Independence' would spell disaster: Lau Siu-kai


HONG KONG — The Vice-president of Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies Lau Siu-kai warned on Friday that "Hong Kong independence" would take a heavy toll on the city and its people.

Speaking on commercial radio, Lau said independence from the mainland would not solve the issues fueling the city's social malaise: discontent developed around the local administration on resolving pressing issues, including the growing wealth gap and the chronic shortage of affordable housing.

He said most people understand the vital connections with the mainland, the protections of the Basic Law and the importance of "One Country, Two Systems". Separation, he said, would spell disaster for Hong Kong.

Lau, the former head of the Hong Kong government think tank, Central Policy Unit, also noted that Hong Kong needs support from the mainland or the city’s economic development and social stability would collapse.

Lau added the majority of Hong Kong people oppose "Hong Kong independence", and there is little likelihood of a large scale movement in support.

Nominations continue for the 2016 Legislative Council election. Six candidates advocating "Hong Kong independence" have been disqualified as candidates for the election on grounds that their pro-independence advocacy violates the Basic Law.

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