Independence for Hong Kong will not happen, leader warns

A video screen shows Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying giving his final policy speech at the Legislative Council in Hong Kong.

Independence for Hong Kong is not possible, the outgoing leader of the Chinese-controlled territory has warned in his farewell policy speech.

In his annual address to the legislature, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said that Hong Kong is an “inalienable” part of China.

“There is absolutely no room for independence or any form of separation,” he said.

The latter part of Mr Leung’s five-year term has been marked by growing separatist sentiment following massive 2014 pro-democracy protests that failed to sway the government’s position on restricting electoral reform.

In his speech, he referred to the “one country, two systems” framework that allows Hong Kong to have considerable autonomy and retain civil liberties not seen on mainland China.

But Mr Leung said residents must comply with the city’s Basic Law constitution “and safeguard national sovereignty, security and territorial integrity”.

Last year, Mr Leung’s government took a tough stance against two newly elected politicians.

It took legal action to disqualify them from office after they used their swearing-in ceremonies to mount apparent protests against China and express pro-independence views.

The unpopular Mr Leung said last month he will not seek a second term in office after his current term ends in June, citing family reasons.

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