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Monday, October 24, 2016, 00:08

Enough is enough — separatists can’t ruin Hong Kong

By Yang Sheng

No sooner had super typhoon Haima skirted Hong Kong, a political storm has spawned into something the city’s political circle has never seen before. While Haima left Hong Kong practically unscathed, this row may inflict profound damage on the SAR.

The “eye” of this political tempest — two lawmakers-elect from the radical group Youngspiration, Yau Wai-ching and Leung Chung-hang — paid a highly controversial visit to Taiwan over the weekend amid a huge public outcry over their insulting behavior during their failed swearing-in in the Legislative Council earlier this month. The Taiwan trip has made it look like the forces of separatism are merging, in the words of some commentators.

Pressure is mounting on new Legislative Council President Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen not to allow the separatist duo to retake their oaths, at least not until the High Court has handed down its ruling in the judicial review brought by the Hong Kong government over whether the LegCo chief has the power to allow the two radicals to take the oath again. An online joint declaration urging the LegCo president to declare Yau and Leung ineligible for public office has collected tens of thousands of signatures over the weekend.

Instead of bowing to public pressure, Yau and Leung took yet another outrageous step to further infuriate Chinese people by jetting off to Taiwan on Saturday to join fellow separatists seeking independence for Tibet, Xinjiang and Taiwan. They were reportedly in Taiwan in pursuit of “democratic self-determination” — a misnomer with no constitutional ground or statutory recognition in Hong Kong and deemed a false proposition by the central government. It’s not surprising at all that the duo’s twisted minds are appreciated by their “pro-independence” counterparts in Taiwan since they share the same delusions and hatred for the nation they were born into. As such, Yau and Leung will no doubt be greeted with overwhelming public condemnation when they return to Hong Kong.

It’s most appropriate to describe their Taiwan trip, as did Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai, former LegCo president and a standing committee member of the National People’s Congress, as “rubbing salt in the wounds” of Chinese people all over the world. The two radicals, by doing so, have further convinced the great majority of Hong Kong voters that they do not deserve a seat in the LegCo, Fan said. Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah also put it well in his weekly blog, saying the unconstitutional behavior of Yau and Leung entails grave consequences as it sets a dangerous precedent for our younger generation that, being a separatist, comes with such benefits as international notoriety and a fat paycheck for LegCo members.

In fact, by elevating the issue from one of local nature to possible collusion with other separatist forces in the country, the two have crossed another red line, possibly one of “no return”.

It’s a safe bet that Hong Kong residents will not be the only ones around the globe who will take to the streets to voice their indignation and rejection of separatists like Yau and Leung, as they simply cannot imagine watching them raise hell in Hong Kong’s legislature in the next four years. And, there’s no doubt the pair will try their utmost to make Hong Kong society more miserable than ever by undermining the lawful operations of the SAR government.

But, we can rest assured that Hong Kong people will throw their weight behind the central government in fending off any challenge to the country’s sovereign rule over the SAR and, thereby, putting its development back on the normal track.

The author is a current affairs commentator.

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