Opinion / Editorials

Separatist sections lack any legitimacy in HK

(China Daily) Updated: 2015-03-03 07:35

Separatist sections lack any legitimacy in HK

Protesters wearing masks shout at mainland Chinese travellers (C) during a demonstration inside a shopping mall in Hong Kong February 15, 2015. Anti-mainland Chinese demonstrators on Sunday protested against parallel traders and confronted police, government radio reported. REUTERS/Tyrone Si

Under the guise of "anti-parallel trading", protesters led by two "nativist" groups, Hong Kong Indigenous and Civic Passion, on Sunday laid siege to downtown Yuen Long, New Territories, storming shops and provoking violent scuffles with local residents and the police.

This was the third mob action in Hong Kong targeting mainland visitors and the retail outlets they patronize in a month. These moves, apparently designed to foster hatred between locals and mainland residents, appear to be part of a separatist agenda promoting the illusionary idea of "Hong Kong independence" in the city.

But like other such previous maneuvers, these attempts to promote a separatist agenda in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region will be futile. There is no place in the SAR for separatism, or "nativism". It will only lead the city to a political and economic dead end.

It is widely accepted that since it was conceived more than 30 years ago, the "One Country, Two Systems" principle has never included any possibility of the notion of the SAR becoming an independent political entity.

Even by the wildest possible interpretations of the most liberal political scholar, a "high level of autonomy" doesn't legitimately contain any implication of such a political proposition.

A State Council white paper in June on the implementation of the "One Country, Two Systems" policy should have completely removed any ambiguity over the legal status of the SAR through its emphatic reaffirmation of the central government's comprehensive jurisdiction over Hong Kong.

Hong Kong's prosperity can be largely attributed to its role as a bridge between the nation and foreign countries. The city will risk losing this role and becoming marginalized if it is plagued by confrontational politics by radical sections.

Besides, separatism has no appeal in mainstream Hong Kong society. By virtue of the fact that the vast majority of Hong Kong residents are either mainland-born immigrants or second - or third-generation immigrants, they feel a strong emotional attachment to the motherland. After all, they share the same consanguinity, tradition, culture and history with their compatriots on the mainland.

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