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Monday, November 21, 2016, 12:04

No room for 'HK independence', president says

By Shadow Li in Hong Kong

No room for 'HK independence', president says
President Xi Ji nping shakes hand with Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying on the sidelines of the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Lima, Peru, on Nov 20, 2016. (Provided to China Daily)

There is no room for “Hong Kong independence” under the “One Country, Two Systems” policy, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying quoted President Xi Jin-ping as saying on Sunday in Lima, Peru.

Leung made the statement after meeting President Xi on the sidelines of the 2016 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting in the Peruvian capital.

Xi said this during a 45-minute meeting with Leung on the sidelines of the 2016 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meet in Lima

Leung said the president told him of the necessity for the nation’s top legislature, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPCSC) , to make the interpretation to Hong Kong’s Basic Law in early November. The interpretation clarified the obligations on those taking an oath of office in the city.

The NPCSC interpretation of the Basic Law Article 104 sets out a general guideline for oath-taking, requiring those getting sworn-in should strictly follow the statutory oath, in a sincere and solemn way.

The interpretation was adopted on Nov 7 amid a judicial review sought by the SAR government challenging the validity of the oaths taken by two separatist lawmakers-elect and demanding the pair’s disqualification.

The oath-taking melodrama centered on the two legislators-elect who interpolated the statutory oath with their own wording, while insulting the nation during their swearing-in ceremony on Oct 12 .

The two were subsequently disqualified of lawmaker’s status by the city’s High Court for declining to take the Legislative Council oath.

Leung said Xi talked approvingly of the SAR government’s work, including the handling of the oath-taking controversy.

In a recent speech commemorating the 150 anniversary of Sun Yat-sen’s birth, Xi hailed Sun as a staunch champion of national unity and the country’s integrity. He said that Sun would have unequivocally opposed any remarks or actions which attempted to split the county.

Xi said it is common aspiration and sacred duty of all Chinese to achieve the complete reunification of the motherland, which is in the fundamental interest of the Chinese nation.

In the speech, Xi called on the Chinese people to carry on Sun’s noble patriotism and devotion to the motherland. He said “any attempt to split the country will be resolutely opposed by all Chinese people,” vowing never to allow anyone, any organization or political party to rip out any part of China’s territory at any time or in any form.

In Lima, Leung said Xi was aware of the diverse views among different sections of

Hong Kong society and had a good knowledge of the city’s situation and the difficulties the SAR government faces.

Xi said the central government hoped the SAR government would press ahead with its comprehensive policy agenda and build broad social consensus to promote economic development, improve people’s quality of life, safeguard national unity and maintain social and economic stability in Hong Kong.

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