10/27/2016, 15.34
HONG KONG – CHINA
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Hong Kong’s parliament blocked by the oath of two young localist parliamentarians

by Paul Wang

On 12 October, Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching swore allegiance to the "Hong Kong nation" wrapped in a banner that said "Hong Kong is not China." The government wants to expel them, but that could happen only with a two-third majority of legislators. Pan-Democrats hold almost half of the seats. This is a signal to Beijing.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – Hong Kong’s Legislative Council (LegCo) remains in chaos, unable to operate, after two pro-Hong Kong sovereignty members took their oath of office.

After a first session on 12 October, yesterday’s too ended amid tensions, insults, and shouts, with pro-Beijing and localist (pro-independence) groups demonstrating outside.

On 12 October, with the LegCo set for its formal opening, all MPs were asked to take the standard oath.

Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching, the two members elected under the Youngspiration banner, decided to alter their oath, and pledged allegiance to the "Hong Kong nation" and referred to the people’s Republic of China (the motherland) as “Chee-na” "China", a variation of the word "Shina", used by the Japanese occupiers for China.

They also made their pledge wrapped in a banner that read "Hong Kong is not China".

LegCo secretary-general Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen declared their oath invalid, but later said that he would allow them to re-take their oaths properly if they wrote to him to do so.

A day before the second session on 19 October, the government filed an emergency lawsuit arguing that the pair be disqualified immediately.

Yesterday eight pan-democrat lawmakers escorted their two young colleagues into the LegCo chamber amid scores of photographers and protests by pro-Beijing members threatening to walk out. The session was then adjourned.

Weakened by the September election, the pro-Beijing group hopes to penalise the pro-democracy group, using patriotism and love for the Chinese homeland.

Pan-Democrats note that according to LegCo procedures, a member can be excluded only if a two-third majority of the legislature votes to expel him or her, which is unlikely since Pan-Democrats have almost half of the votes.

Still, the case illustrates the growing dissatisfaction of young people towards Beijing and its desire to dominate Hong Kong

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