Pro-democracy Hong Kong lawmakers defy China in oath taking

Published 9:10 am Wednesday, October 12, 2016

HONG KONG — A swearing-in ceremony to kick off Hong Kong’s legislative session descended into farce Wednesday as newly elected pro-democracy lawmakers intentionally mangled their oaths in a show of defiance against Beijing.

The new crop of lawmakers, elected last month amid swelling anti-China sentiment, object to the oath’s requirement to pledge allegiance to the “Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China” and its Basic Law constitution.

So they came up with creative ways to get around it.

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Sixtus Leung, 30, of the radical Youngspiration party draped a blue flag with the words “Hong Kong is not China” over his shoulders. His colleague Yau Wai-ching laid the same flag out in front of her.

They both vowed to defend the “Hong Kong nation” before reciting the oath in English but mispronouncing China as Shina , an old-fashioned derogatory Japanese term for the country.

Leung clutched a Bible in his right hand but also crossed his fingers. Yau, 25, combined “republic” with a curse word.

They were among three lawmakers whose oaths were not accepted by the legislative clerk.