The convenor of the Executive Council, Bernard Chan, said on Thursday that he believes the issue of Hong Kong independence should be discussed not just between students and universities, but also in the wider community.
But Chan stressed that the purpose of the discussions would not be to advocate independence, but to clarify why it just can't be done and how it is against Hong Kong’s best interests.
“We should not run away from the problem. By pretending the issue is not there is not helping. So I think we should face the issue and deal with it,” he said.
Chan said instead of politicising the issue, Hong Kong needs to address why the students are so unhappy and why they don’t want to be part of China. Finger pointing is not going to help, he said.
Responding to lawmaker Junius Ho's controversial remarks against independence advocates, Chan said the lawmaker is genuinely representing part of the community who are angry at calls for separation.
But at the same time there are people who wholeheartedly disagree with him too, Chan said. He told RTHK’s Janice Wong that he believes Ho is capable of knowing what is in the best interests of Hong Kong.