Hong Kong universities and students have been warned against campus conversations about independence.
At the Chinese University of Hong Kong, “which saw clashes last year amid renewed calls for Hong Kong to break away from China, student leaders at an event to herald the start of a new academic year insisted they had a right to talk about sovereignty over the city”, the South China Morning Post reported.
But Kevin Yeung Yun-hung, Hong Kong’s secretary for education, said: “There is no need to discuss or reaffirm one’s views on Hong Kong independence at university inauguration ceremonies. It is not an appropriate occasion.”
Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, chief secretary for administration in the Hong Kong government, said: “Hong Kong is a place with freedom of speech, but there is absolutely no space for Hong Kong independence.”
The comments came after Cheung Yam, the president of the Education University of Hong Kong’s students’ union provisional executive council, said during an inauguration ceremony that “Hong Kong independence is the only way to build a place that is truly based on the interests of Hongkongers”.
An Education University spokeswoman said that the institution “deeply regrets” and “condemns” the council’s decision to advocate independence.