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China dismisses Hong Kong independence call as ‘political gimmick’

Protesters rally outside the Hong Kong government headquarters, Friday, Aug. 5, 2016 as they demand Hong Kong Independence. Amid a dispute over candidates excluded on political grounds, Hong Kong's government on Friday posted the names of those approved to run in the territory's most contentious Legislative Council elections since reverting to Chinese rule almost two decades ago. The placard reads "Punish rioters severely, pay back in prison". (Photo courtesy/AP/Kin Cheung)
Protesters rally outside the Hong Kong government headquarters, Friday, Aug. 5, 2016 as they demand Hong Kong Independence. Amid a dispute over candidates excluded on political grounds, Hong Kong’s government on Friday posted the names of those approved to run in the territory’s most contentious Legislative Council elections since reverting to Chinese rule almost two decades ago. The placard reads “Punish rioters severely, pay back in prison”. (Photo courtesy/AP/Kin Cheung)

(TibetanReview.net, Aug08, 2016) – China’s media, which is a monopoly of the country’s absolute communist-party rulers, has on Aug 6 dismissed as a “political gimmick” the independence movement in Hong Kong, a special administrative region with its own mini constitution and democratic rights not available on the mainland. The remark by China’s Global Times newspaper followed the first pro-independence rally held in the city with the participation of more than 2,000 people.

The Aug 5 night rally saw people fill a park near the government’s headquarters, chanting “Hong Kong independence”, reported the AFP Aug 7.

The protest was led by five pro-independence candidates who were banned from standing for the upcoming election in Hong Kong because they advocated the city’s independence from mainland China. Mainland hand is seen behind the decision for their ban.

“Hong Kong independence follows the fantasies of certain people and has become one of the city’s most extreme political gimmicks,” said the Global Times, adding, “It is completely impossible to be realized.”

China’s international communist party mouthpiece suggested that Hong Kong authorities would feel the need for “institutional restrictions” in the face of the independence movement “to prevent it from being taken seriously and ultimately polluting the city’s politics”.

Calls for Hong Kong’s Independence, which until recently were a taboo topic, have evolved out of the “localist” movement of mainly young campaigners disappointed after mass rallies in 2014, known as the Umbrella Movement, failed to win concessions from China on democratic reform, noted the AFP report.

The report said that some “localists”, while not advocating independence, were pushing for self-determination for Hong Kong, an idea which has taken root among other pro-democracy campaigners.

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