Hong Kong leader warns independence calls threaten economy

April 26, 2016 /manilatimes.net

HONG KONG: Hong Kong’s Beijing-friendly leader warned Tuesday the city will lose investment and job opportunities if residents continue to seek independence, painting a bleak economic picture of the former British colony without Chinese support.

hong_kong_umbrella_protest_ap_imgUnpopular leader Leung Chun-ying’s remarks come as political divisions in the semi-autonomous city widen, with young campaigners pushing for self-determination or outright independence from China.

Hong Kong is self-governing and retains many freedoms not seen on the mainland, but Beijing sees the concept of eventual independence as unthinkable.

“The city’s seven million residents would bear the political and economic consequences with those pushing for independence or self-determination,” Leung told reporters at the government’s headquarters.

“Investors would lose confidence in Hong Kong. People would lose opportunities to develop and to obtain employment,” he said.

“Hong Kong would lose the trust and the support of Chinese authorities,” Leung, elected in 2012 by a 1,200-strong committee packed with members of pro-Beijing elites, said.

Last month saw the launch of multiple political parties pushing for independence or self-determination.

Student leaders behind the city’s 2014 mass pro-democracy rallies have launched Demosisto, a party campaigning for a referendum to decide the city’s future.

And the newly formed pro-independence Hong Kong National Party, made up of 30 to 50 students and young professionals, said independence was the only path of survival for the city.

Chinese media called on the government to take action against the movement. Read more…

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