Former chief executive Tung Chee-hwa has said that the government’s potential ban on the Hong Kong National Party (HKNP) was “reasonable and sensible.”
At an event hosted by his pro-Beijing think tank on Tuesday, Tung criticised the HKNP as harming the city’s development and urged the pan-democrats to act as a “constructive opposition bloc.”
“Any advocacy of Hong Kong independence harms Hong Kong’s development and people’s livelihoods,” Tung said. “Hong Kong is an inalienable part of China, and any act that threatens national sovereignty or security must not be allowed.”
“The police are considering prohibiting the operation of the [party] based on reasons of national security and public safety. This is reasonable and sensible,” he added.
Last month, the security secretary told HKNP’s convenor Andy Chan that there was a sufficiently strong case in the interests of “national security, public safety, public order, protection of freedom and rights of others” to ban his party. Chan has until September 4 to respond.
Chan was recently invited by the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents’ Club to give a speech, drawing protests from pro-Beijing politicians.
At Tuesday’s event, Tung also praised the work of Chief Executive Carrie Lam, and said he hoped that democrats would play a more “constructive” role in livelihood issues.
“Given time, I hope that on livelihood issues pan-democrats can cooperate more with the government and the pro-establishment faction, and reduce resistance,” he said.
The event was organised by Our Hong Kong Foundation, a pro-Beijing think tank founded and led by Tung. The Foundation made a recommendation on land reclamation during the event.