The Chinese University of Hong Kong has issued another statement opposing Hong Kong independence after some of its students said they set up a group to study the subject.
The statement came after a group called the “Hong Kong Independence Research Society” put out an open call for members in a post on popular student page CUHK Secrets. The members will mostly be in charge of organising events to foster a sense of Hong Kong identity amongst students, it said.
The group said it was set up in 2018 to defend students’ freedom of speech. It added that it was established in response to the school’s attitude towards banners promoting Hong Kong independence that appeared across universities in Hong Kong last September.
In a statement published on Wednesday, the university said that it “reiterates its firm opposition to Hong Kong independence.”
“The Basic Law clearly states that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is an inalienable part of the People’s Republic of China. Any speech or act that incites or promotes Hong Kong independence is in contravention of the Basic Law,” it said.
The school said that it will continue to “do its utmost to protect freedom of speech and academic autonomy” as well as “ensure the campus is a place for the engagement of rational intellectual pursuits, instead of political contests.”
It also said it will “actively communicate” with its students on all matters related to the activities of student organisations.
After Hong Kong independence banners appeared in September, CUHK Vice-chancellor Joseph Sung said the school will remove related slogans from message boards if its student union fails to act.
The heads of ten universities — including CUHK — also published a joint statement condemning “recent abuses” of free expression on campus and calling Hong Kong independence unconstitutional.