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Joshua Wong is disqualified from elections in Hong Kong

Pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong speaks to journalists after being disqualified from running in district council elections in Hong Kong. October 29, 2019 / Tyrone Siu / Reuters


Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong (黃之鋒 Huáng Zhīfēng) has been disqualified from running in the November 24 district council elections in Hong Kong. The Washington Post reports:

Explaining her decision in a letter Tuesday, Laura Aron, an official who manages elections, said there was a “consistent case” that Wong and his party believe “the independence of Hong Kong is an option” for the self-determination of its people. She added that it was “questionable whether Mr. Wong accepted the People’s Republic of China’s sovereignty” over Hong Kong…

Wong, the only candidate to be disqualified, has said he does not support Hong Kong’s independence, nor is it the official line of his party, Demosisto.

Hong Kong government officials appear to be taking the line that “self-determination,” as Wong and his political party, Demosistō, advocate for the city, is just a coded way to refer to support for independence. However, South China Morning Post reporting indicates that this standard is not being applied consistently, as one “pro-democracy lawmaker previously barred from running in a village representative election due to advocacy of self-determination, was given the green light last week to run in the district council elections.”

“This disqualification is because my name is Joshua Wong. Unless I change my name, they will continue disqualifying me,” Wong quipped in a press conference after the decision.

For more about the complexities of pro-democracy activism in Hong Kong, and the increasing importance of a genuine pro-independence movement led by people far more radical than Joshua Wong, see our piece published on SupChina today: The panda in the room: Hong Kong’s independence movement.

The Panda in the Room: Hong Kong’s pro-independence movement

More news about Hong Kong:

“Chief Executive Carrie Lam has denied a report that she will be replaced by Beijing next March. When asked about a Financial Times report during a press briefing on Tuesday, Lam dismissed the claim as a rumor and said the Chinese Foreign Ministry had already denied it,” the Hong Kong Free Press says.

“Police have warned the organizers of a running activity that they may bear legal responsibilities should their events exceed 30 people,” according to the Hong Kong Free Press. The organizers of the “long run” say their event is only a fitness event, and is “neither a rally nor a march.”

Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge has withdrawn an honorary degree to Junius Ho, a “polarizing pro-Beijing lawmaker,” after controversies about his connections to thug attacks in Yuen Long on July 21 and accusations that he has made death threats against rival law makers, the Hong Kong Free Press reports.

“Taiwan has deported a second mainland Chinese traveler this month for tearing down posters supporting Hong Kong’s anti-government protests from a ‘Lennon Wall’ display,” the South China Morning Post reports. “The businessman, identified by his surname Hu, was expelled from Taiwan on Monday evening and prevented from re-entering the island for five years. Prosecutors found he had ‘damaged property’ by removing posters on Sunday at an underpass in Taichung, in the island’s west.”

Lucas Niewenhuis

Lucas Niewenhuis is an associate editor at SupChina who helps curate daily news and produce the company's newsletter, app, and website content. Previously, Lucas researched China-Africa relations at the Social Science Research Council and interned at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. He has studied Chinese language and culture in Shanghai and Beijing, and is a graduate of the University of Michigan.

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