A recently founded yet influential Taiwanese party has denied a report that it will come to Hong Kong to rally support for a localist party. A candidate of the Hong Kong party has apologised for misinformation given to a news site.
Local Press, an online news site close to localist groups, quoted Youngspiration candidate Kenny Wong Chun-kit as saying that Taiwan’s New Power Party (NPP) – including their lawmaker Hung Tzu-yun – will come to Hong Kong at the end of next week for an election rally.
But the NPP soon denied the report, saying that none of its five lawmakers had such plans. “Our party is concerned about Hong Kong’s development in democracy, we support full universal suffrage,” it said. “We welcome Hong Kong’s civil society joining the election. But we have never discussed the development and support of individual parties.”
In January, Huang Kuo-chang, then NPP candidate for Taiwan’s legislature, was denied a visa to Hong Kong for the second time.
Local Press apologised to the NPP in a statement, saying that it only cited Wong, but failed to confirm the news with NPP.
Around the same time, Wong told Stand News that there was a mistake in the Local Press report, as Youngspiration was still in talks with NPP and it was not confirmed. Five hours later, Wong backtracked and apologised to Local Press for providing misinformation in a statement: “It was due to my failure to express the information in a good manner.”
Wong said he had discussed with the NPP plans to visit Hong Kong, but he caused a misunderstanding as he told Local Press before they were confirmed.
Wong, a candidate running in the New Territories West constituency in the upcoming election, said he was willing to accept a disciplinary hearing from his party. But some pointed out that Youngspiration has no such mechanism.
But many localist supporters were not satisfied with Wong’s apology, saying that he should not have blamed Local Press in his response to Stand News.
Another Youngspiration candidate, Sixtus “Baggio” Leung Chun-hang, was supported by Edward Leung Tin-kei as a “substitute candidate” in the New Territories East constituency, after Leung’s candidacy was rejected by an election official.
Localist supporters voiced their discontent towards Wong during a localist online programme which over 2,600 people viewed, saying that Wong harmed the reputation of Local Press and Leung.
The full list of candidates in the Legislative Council election on September 4 can be viewed here.
Update 3:40pm: In a statement, a government spokesman said that “the Government does not welcome activists who pursue the notion of Taiwan independence to come to Hong Kong to campaign for Hong Kong political organisations.”