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World

October 20, 2016

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HK pro-independence lawmakers blocked from taking oath

HK pro-independence lawmakers blocked from taking oath

HONG KONG: Hong Kong´s legislature again descended into chaos on Wednesday as pro-Beijing politicians blocked the swearing in of two new lawmakers who want a split from China, in an increasingly divided parliament.

It comes as fears grow in the semi-autonomous city that Beijing is tightening its grip, fuelling an independence movement in Hong Kong.

Wednesday saw rival lawmakers clash in a heated shouting match after the pro-Beijing camp walked out of the swearing-in session.

The walkout led to the meeting being cancelled, preventing pro-independence lawmakers Yau Wai-ching and Baggio Leung from taking the oath that would allow them to take up their seats.

In the ensuing confrontations one veteran pro-democracy legislator threw slices of luncheon meat at his opponents while another was surrounded by security after turning China and Hong Kong flags displayed on pro-Beijing lawmakers´ desks upside-down.

Meanwhile, pro-Beijing lawmakers chanted "Apologise!", demanding Yau and Leung say sorry for their failure to take the oath properly at last week´s swearing-in ceremony.

The pair had their oaths rejected last Wednesday after they draped themselves in "Hong Kong is not China" flags.

The oath states Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China.

Both refused to pronounce China properly, and Yau was heard to replace the words "the People´s Republic of China" with "the People´s refucking of Zeena".

They were given permission to retake their oaths on Wednesday, but the session was abandoned after the pro-Beijing walkout left an insufficient number of legislators in the chamber.

"If they want people to respect their oaths, they have to express regret over their behaviour last week and to apologise to all Chinese around the world," pro-Beijing lawmaker Priscilla Leung told reporters.

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