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Hong Kong acting to curb pro-independence trend

Hong Kong acting to curb pro-independence trend

Hong Kong, Feb. 18 (CNA) Hong Kong authorities are moving to curb a small but growing pro-independence movement in this Chinese special administrative region by tightening official language used to describe relations with mainland China, according to Hong Kong media reports. The Administration Wing has directed all administrative agencies to use "Mainland-Hong Kong Relations" rather than "China-Hong Kong Relations" when referring to ties between the two sides, Radio Television Hong Kong reported Wednesday. The directive also stressed that the phrase "high degree of autonomy" for Hong Kong should not be put in quotation marks when used in documents. The "high degree of autonomy" is something promised to Hong Kong under Article 12 of the special administrative region's basic law but not something many in Hong Kong feel they have. In addition, civil servants were instructed not to use the term "reunification" to describe Hong Kong's handover to Beijing because it "should only be used in the context of the Taiwan issue." One report quoted Lau Siu-kai (???), the deputy chief of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong & Macao Studies, as saying that the directive was crafted with the intention of nipping the fledgling Hong Kong independence movement in the bud. The movement has taken many forms, including the waving at local demonstrations of pro-independence flags from when Hong Kong was still a British colony, the report said. An article published last year by the Undergrad (??), a monthly published by the Hong Kong University Students' Union, advocated national self-determination for Hong Kong. That proposition was rejected by Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying (???) as running counter to the region's constitutional system. The calls for independence have been dismissed by many in Hong Kong as the view of a small minority that should not be taken seriously.
According to some pro-democracy members of the Legislative Council, however, the language directive showed the government is taking the independence movement seriously.
They described the directive as a mockery of democracy and an attempt to control people's thinking and ideology. (By Stanley Cheung and Maubo Chang)


Updated : 2021-09-19 20:02 GMT+08:00