A pro-Beijing supporter waves the Chinese flag as he and others demonstrate outside the Legislative Council building Wednesday ahead of a planned second swearing-in ceremony of pro-democracy lawmakers - whose initial oaths last week were invalidated. Hong Kong's legislature again descended into chaos on Wednesday, as the pro-Beijing camp blocked the swearing-in of two new lawmakers who want the city to split from China. Photo: AFP
Pro-establishment lawmakers walked out of the Hong Kong Legislative Council (LegCo) to halt for the second time the oath-taking of newly elected pro-independence lawmakers on Wednesday, after using a derogatory term for China at last week's ceremony.
Expert said the move is just a temporary strategy, and support from judicial organs will be needed in the next step.
Pro-establishment lawmakers boycotted the LegCo to prevent a quorum at the swearing-in ceremony of two pro-independence lawmakers who are trying to push the "independence of Hong Kong" and humiliated China and the Chinese people during the first swearing-in ceremony last week, the Xinhua News Agency reported Wednesday.
Previous reports said that at the opening of last week's LegCo session, two newly elected pan-democratic lawmakers made a mockery of the oath-taking ceremony. Youngspiration's Yau Wai-ching and Sixtus Baggio Leung Chun-hang tampered with the script of the oath by replacing "Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China" with "Hong Kong nation."
They draped a blue banner reading "Hong Kong is not China" across their shoulders during the ceremony. Yau even pronounced China as "Shina," a highly derogatory word used by Japanese forces in WWII.
Their behavior sparked an uproar in Hong Kong, and City University of Hong Kong student Mo Jiajie launched a signature drive on Facebook to condemn Yau and Leung and urged them to apologize. They also urged the LegCo to disqualify them.
Reports said more than 300,000 people signed in as of Wednesday.
After the first oath-taking ceremony, LegCo allowed Yau and Leung to take the oath again, and on Tuesday, the Hong Kong government failed to halt their oath-taking, according to previous reports.
Pro-establishment lawmaker Leung Mei-fun told Xinhua that "we heard the people's voice so we urged LegCo to stop these lawmakers who humiliated our country from swearing-in again," adding that they must withdraw their statements and apologize.
Tian Feilong, assistant professor at Beihang University and a Hong Kong expert, told the Global Times on Wednesday that the establishment lawmakers' boycott can't fundamentally solve the problem, and we should await the High Court's ruling on this case.
According to Article 104 of the Hong Kong Basic Law, when assuming office, members of the LegCo must swear to uphold the Basic Law and swear allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. "Otherwise, they may be disqualified as lawmakers," Tian said.