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Friday, February 13, 2015, 09:16

Separatism will fail

By Staff Writer

Since being singled out for spreading fallacies by the Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying in his Policy Address on Jan 14, Undergrad, the official magazine run by the University of Hong Kong’s Students’ Union, has attracted much media attention amid worrying advocacy on “Hong Kong independence” at campuses in the city.

The editorial board of Undergrad has publicly distanced itself from separatist forces, and argued “the topic about it existed, all we did was discuss its possibility”. But judging by the extraordinary rhetoric of its latest issue, Undergrad has shown no remorse. Moreover, there have been reports that student cabinets with pro-independence backgrounds are jockeying in students’ union elections in Hong Kong Baptist University and HKU, while other groups who generally respect “One Country, Two Systems” were under vicious verbal attack by opponent groups trumpeting support for separatism.

The topic of “HK independence” was like a storm in a tea cup advocated only by a bunch of political fanatics. No one in their right mind would take such a crazy idea seriously. However, to prevent this political virus from evolving into deadly epidemic, it is time to raise public awareness about it and to nip separatist sentiments in the bud.    

Clearly some people in the city harbor nostalgia for the British colonial era, and want Hong Kong to become a sovereign city-state like Singapore, or a state that could join the Commonwealth of Nations as a former British territory colony. Their longing for “HK independence” exists — although they don’t easily admit it. Only a few hot-headed radicals dare to clamor for separatism by waving Union Jacks in public demonstrations. If these naive and ignorant students are forgivable, then those promoting a hidden agenda of separatism should be condemned.

The Hong Kong SAR is now enjoying a high degree of autonomy under the “One Country, Two Systems” principle and may develop into a full democracy with universal suffrage. But “HK independence” can never be realized, or it would lead to a resurgence in this dangerous political movement.

No matter what these separatists call it — Hong Kong identity, civic nationalism, self-determination, nothing can change the fact that Hong Kong has been a part of China from the beginning, and will certainly remain one. 

Apart from Hong Kong’s historical bondage to its motherland, “HK independence” is a blatant violation of the Basic Law and the country’s Constitution. Even with the absence of Article 23, words and deeds instigating separatism are breaches of the relevant criminal laws in the HKSAR and should be prosecuted accordingly.

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