Authorities in Hong Kong on Sept. 24 took an unprecedented step to quash separatist voices by banning a political party that advocates independence for the southern Chinese territory on national security grounds.
John Lee, the territory’s secretary for security, announced that the Hong Kong National Party would be prohibited from operation immediately.
At a briefing, Lee said the political party led by 27-year-old Andy Chan posed a threat to national security because it wants Hong Kong to be an independent republic and has taken steps to push this agenda. Lee cited as examples alleged plans by the party to recruit members and infiltrate schools.
Lee said the independence party also “spreads hatred and discrimination against mainlanders in Hong Kong.” He accused the party of saying it would support force to meet its goals. In 2016, Chan had said the party would support violence “if it is effective to make us heard.”
Lee acknowledged, though, that the party hasn’t actually used violent means. (AP)