Activists who have advocated independence for Hong Kong say they have been harassed or followed by pro-China local newspapers in recent months, while Beijing has stepped up its rhetoric against what it calls the “dangerous absurdity” of independence.
Beijing’s refusal to grant full democracy to Hong Kong, which mostly runs its own affairs under a one-country, two-systems arrangement since the former British colony returned to China in 1997, prompted three months of street protests in 2014 and growing calls for independence for the city.
In a July poll by the Chinese University of Hong Kong, 17% of the roughly 1,000 respondents said they supported independence, but Chinese state media call such views “poisonous.”
Six candidates in next month’s legislative elections have been excluded from the ballot by Hong Kong’s Electoral Affairs Commission for pro-independence opinions, which it says are incompatible with the city’s governance laws. Read More