Localist with sense of history

Local | Phoenix Un 28 Sep 2016

Youngspiration's lawmaker-elect Yau Wai-ching, the "localist goddess" who knocked veteran Raymond Wong Yuk- man out of the Legislative Council, says there is no conflict between being a localist and Chinese history.

"I used to be a nationalist of Greater China. I found very early that the current communist regime couldn't represent the 5,000 years of Chinese culture," she said.

Yau, 25, has been a Chinese history buff for more than a decade, and likes to fantasize about romantic relationships between historic figures. "I believe there was affection between Qin Shi Huang and Crown Prince Dan [of State of Yan], and Cao Cao and Xiahou Dun were a couple."

Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor in Chinese history, eliminated Yan during the Warrior State period, while Xiahou Dun was a general serving under Cao Cao, a top warlord in the late Eastern Han dynasty.

"It was like studying world history or European history. I don't read the history of a place because I love the place."

Yau dreamed of becoming a writer of "Boys' Love" novels and future archaeologist, until she joined Youngspiration after the 2014 Occupy Movement.

She recalled that she converted to localism after the anti-national education movement in 2012, when she was compelled to believe Hong Kong should be apart from China. "Things I thought wouldn't happen in Hong Kong occurred here. It was like brainwashing during the Cultural Revolution. I could no long believe Hong Kong's democracy depends on China."

As a long-term pan-democrat supporter, Yau cast her vote back in 2012 for Wong, who fell 424 votes short of her in the Kowloon West constituency and failed to be re-elected this time in September.

"I found him possessing ability of a good legislator, and I wanted him to be re-elected. I still hold this belief now."

Yau was criticized for taking votes from Wong, but she refutes this, saying it was "democratic self-determination" advocate Lau Siu-lai of Democracy Groundwork who got many of his votes.

"Wong also had voters from the elderly. These votes went to the candidate who endorsed universal retirement protection strongly. Obviously it's not me, but Lau."

She took aim at new legislators Lau, Land Justice League's Eddie Chu Hoi- dick and Nathan Law Kwun-chung of Demosisto saying their version of self- determination lacks sovereignty as a theme.

"They only want to keep the high degree of autonomy. "

However she believes there will always be space for cooperation with the pan-democrats and the self- determination advocates, depending on issues.

On the lighter side, Yau said her English name is Regine but rarely uses it. It's not because it sounds similar to Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee. "I have been teased by my friends because of that," Yau said.

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