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Beijing hails HKNP ban, opposition slams govt

2018-09-24 HKT 17:43
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  • Beijing hails HKNP ban, opposition slams govt
The Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office in Beijing has described a ban on the Hong Kong National Party as being "totally necessary"

The official Xinhua News Agency quoted an office spokesperson as saying that it is essential for the SAR administration to adopt a zero-tolerance approach towards calls for independence as they pose a grave threat to the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The comment was echoed by pro-establishment lawmakers, including DAB chairwoman Starry Lee, who said the ban serves as a warning for other groups advocating independence or self-determination.

“We all understand what the Basic Law requires. We have to bear in mind that One Country, Two Systems is not a place for advocating something like independence or total self-determination”, she said.

And this is specifically what worries the opposition camp.

Council Front lawmaker Claudia Mo says she is not convinced with the government’s explanation for the ban, and is concerned that the case would set the scene for the prohibition of more political groups in future.

“The Hong Kong government is basically trying to create more and more political terror, fear in Hong Kong. They can technically say that ‘we say what you are and this is what you are’ and that’s it. They can bound you just like that”, she said.

One of the groups most at risk of a potential ban, Demosisto, has accused the government of trampling on basic human rights in the territory, and turning a blind eye to people’s rights to assembly.

In a statement, the group, which calls for self-determination for the SAR, said there is a need to resist this sort of “dictatorship” by the government, and called on Hong Kong people to do more to protect the city’s core values.