01/02/2017, 08.59
HONG KONG - CHINA
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Anti-government march in defense of localist parliamentarians. Beijing warns against "subversion"

Only 9 thousand people take part. 1.43 million Hong Kong dollars collected to pay the legal costs of the pro-democracy deputies at risk of expulsion. China’s representative sets limits to the democratic movement.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - At least 9 thousand people took part yesterday in the traditional march on the first of the year through the city streets protesting against the government’s blocking of four “localist” deputies whose oath taking was not according to the rules of territory.

Nathan Law Kwun-chung, Edward Yiu Chung-yim, Lau Siu-lai and Leung Kwok-hung, nicknamed "Long Hair" won election to the Legco (parliament of Hong Kong) , among the ranks of a pro-democracy group, but in swearing in for their mandate, they did not use the established formula rather expressions in defense of Hong Kong against Chinese hegemony.

The government, at the suggestion of Beijing is trying to disqualify and them remove from the parliament, where the Democrats have almost half the seats.

Yesterday’s march gathered funds to pay legal fees in defense of the four legislators. Yesterday 1.43 million Hong Kong dollars (about 175 thousand euro) was collected.

According to the organizers of the march, the Civil Human Rights Front, the reduced participation this year is due to the fact that a few weeks ago, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Leung Chun-ying, announced that he would not run for a new mandate as governor, in elections set for next March.

Leung Chun-ying has been among the staunchest opponents of the democratic movement, a chief proponent of the control that Beijing wants to exercise on the territory.

In this regard, yesterday, Zhang Xiaoming, director of the Office for Relations between Hong Kong and China (Beijing’s pseudo embassy in Hong Kong), clarified the extent to which the population of the territory has to work for its own freedom. He said that over the past 20 years the project "one nation, two systems" has worked successfully, but it is important not to nourish radical separatism, which wants a Hong Kong independent from China.

For Zhang three limitations must not be exceeded: national security must not be weakened; the authority of the central government must not be challenged; the territory must not be used as a base for infiltration that could subvert the country. 

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