Hong Kong: Large pro-China rally against independence
By Helier Cheung / 13 November 2016 / BBC
Tens of thousands of pro-China protesters have rallied in Hong Kong, expressing anger at calls for the territory’s independence.
Demonstrators waved Chinese flags, and chanted “oppose Hong Kong independence; support Beijing’s ruling”.
Last week, the Chinese government issued a rare ruling on Hong Kong’s law, effectively disqualifying two pro-independence lawmakers from parliament.
Critics say Beijing’s intervention has undermined Hong Kong’s rule of law.
The row over pro-independence legislators Sixtus Leung and Yau Wai-ching has highlighted deep divisions in the territory, which was handed back to China from the British in 1997, under a promise that it would enjoy a high degree of autonomy.
Mr Leung and Ms Yau used a derogatory term to refer to China, and brought banners that read “Hong Kong is not China”, while they were being sworn into office last month.
Their oaths were invalidated, and a court case into whether they are still eligible to be legislators is currently under way at a Hong Kong court.
Organisers of Sunday’s pro-China protest say 40,000 people attended the rally outside Hong Kong’s parliament, while police estimate 28,500 people were there at the peak of the demonstration.
Maggie Chan, a spokeswoman for an alliance who organised the protests, said she opposed attempts “to separate Hong Kong from our motherland”.
“So many people are very angry because the pro-independence force is a destructive force that is against the rule of law in Hong Kong,” Ms Chan told the BBC. Read more…
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