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Separatism has no place on or off Hong Kong campuses

China Daily | Updated: 2017-09-11 08:53

Separatists in Hong Kong have launched another propaganda campaign on university campuses with "pro-independence" posters and banners at the beginning of the new academic year, a move that has drawn citywide condemnation, from media commentaries to protest rallies.

"Pro-independence" cries have flared up again after a period of relative lull following the disqualification of six radical legislators and the imprisonment of a number of violent protestors and student activists. Which shows the fight against separatism is anything but over and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region needs to do everything to protect its youth against this potentially fatal disease that is linked to separatist forces in other parts of China, especially Taiwan.

The dramatic face-off last week between a mainland student who angrily tore down separatist posters at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and local "pro-independence" students has triggered heated debates on and off campuses, reflecting how deep separatist forces have infiltrated most if not all student unions on university campuses, even some secondary schools.

It should surprise no one that the emergence of separatist forces followed the "color revolutions" and "coincided" with the "sunflower student movement" that helped the "pro-independence" Democratic Progressive Party win last year's election in Taiwan.

Those still not convinced that separatist groups in Hong Kong have close links with their counterparts in Taiwan might have forgotten that a number of prominent radical opposition figures known for their anti-communist mentality have visited Taiwan multiple times in recent years to forge organizational ties with their "soul mates" and discuss ways how to secretly advance their hopeless cause of "independence".

No matter what excuses they use for their separatist propaganda on SAR university campuses, such as academic independence and free speech, they cannot hide the obvious similarity between their choice of words and those of "Taiwan independence" advocates.

The SAR government has every reason to step up efforts to prevent separatists from spreading their tentacles in the city's universities, colleges and schools because their actions violate Hong Kong's Basic Law.

Some people may dismiss separatists' activists in Hong Kong as negligible, but the SAR government and patriotic forces must not let their guard down for the simple reason that "pro-independence" forces apparently succeeded in brainwashing some youths, including college and middle school students. Which means not only the local administrations but also the educators have much work to do to "exorcise" those youths "possessed" by evil forces.

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