Chinese scholars held a forum on the roots of the Hong Kong independence movement in Beijing on Saturday, during which a politics professor urged the mainland government to avoid using a “Chinese mentality” to tackle Hong Kong problems.
The forum drew the participation of eight scholars from the mainland. They said they supported Beijing’s move to address the two localist lawmakers who made derogatory comments towards China, and suggested that the central government should keep an eye on Hong Kong’s political development.
In particular, Ren Jiantao, a politics professor at Tsinghua University, said pro-independence lawmakers should abide by the rules if they decided to join the political system, otherwise they should focus on organising social movements.
However, he said that Beijing’s interpretation of the Basic Law reflected its hardline policy of treating Hong Kong as being in a state of disorder. He suggested the central government stop governing the semi-autonomous city with the same mentality it uses to rule the mainland.
He added Beijing should consider whether it should continue to target other pro-democracy lawmakers who failed to comply with the rules of the swearing-in ceremony.
The forum was co-organised by the Chinese Association of Hong Kong & Macao Studies, and the Peking University Law School.