World

No one may use HK as subversion base: China

BEIJING: China will not allow anyone to use Hong Kong as a base for subversion against it or to damage its political stability, Beijing's top official in the territory told state TV.

Chinese leaders are increasingly concerned about a fledgling independence movement in Hong Kong, which returned to Chinese rule in 1997 with a promise of autonomy known as "one country, two systems", and recent protests in the city, Reuters reported.

In an interview with state TV broadcast late on Sunday, Mr Zhang Xiaoming, the head of China's liaison office in Hong Kong, said Beijing will not interfere in matters that purely affect Hong Kong's autonomy.

NOT ALLOWED

He said: "As far as Hong Kong is concerned, nobody is permitted to do anything in any form that damages the country's sovereignty and security.

"They are not allowed to challenge the central government's authority or that of Hong Kong's Basic Law.

"They are not allowed to use Hong Kong for infiltration subversion activities against the mainland to damage its social and political stability."

China's Parliament last month staged a rare interpretation of the Basic Law, Hong Kong's mini constitution, to effectively bar pro-independence city lawmakers from taking office there.

Chinese President Xi Jinping told outgoing Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun Ying last month that China's central government strongly supports efforts by the Hong Kong government to curb moves by some promoting independence for the global financial hub.

Mr Leung said last month he would not run again for office.

Ms Regina Ip, a former security chief and hard-liner who is loathed by Hong Kong's pro-democracy camp, has said she will run for his position, in a move opponents fear will be a further sign of tightening controls by Beijing, AFP reported. - WIRES

hong kongChinapolitics