Hey kids, think you can take on the PLA?

Local | Arika Ho 21 Mar 2016

Hong Kong students were asked during a fiery debate on Hong Kong independence whether they thought they could defeat the People's Liberation Army.

Speaking at RTHK's City Forum yesterday, lawyer Lawrence Ma Yan-kwok said independence can only be achieved through discussion or a fight.

"Hong Kong has no soldiers. Is there any student in Hong Kong willing to form an army to fight the People's Liberation Army?" asked Ma, who is a member of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong.

He also said independence is not an option since China will not allow such negotiations and the PLA has the responsibility to fight against treason as stated in China's constitution.

The Civic Party's Tanya Chan Suk-chong said Hong Kong should keep its options open when discussing its future.

She hopes there will be rational discussion about Hong Kong's fate after 2047 and how to enhance "one country, two systems."

Chan said: "We were absent during the negotiations leading to the [Sino-British] Joint Declaration so we should safeguard the freedom of speech for our future generation to discuss all options available."

Chan also said the Basic Law guarantees a high degree of autonomy for Hong Kong, but there is much interference by the mainland in all aspects of life.

Lau Yee-ching, former editor- in-chief of Undergrad, a publication of the Hong Kong University Students' Union, said Ma should not shrink from the discussion on how to achieve independence.

"Independence can be achieved without armed revolution, like Scotland and Catalonia in Spain, which sought self- determination through legal means," Lau said.

Lau said it is time for Hong Kong to discuss the future, or else it will be too late.

Another guest, Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers chairman Tang Fei, said Hong Kong is a part of the mainland and independence is impossible.

Hong Kong's richest man, Li Ka-shing, said last Friday that independence is unrealistic and he urged people not to harm the city.

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