Pro-China lawmakers walked out of the Hong Kong parliament on Wednesday, 19 October to prevent the swearing in of two pro-independence politicians. Two members of the activist Youngspiration Party – Sixtus Leung and Yau Wai-ching – were among the five lawmakers to redo their swearing-in for the second time, so they can assume office.
They were elected last month and were a part of the new wave activist politicians as anti-Beijing sentiment is on the rise in the semi autonomous region.
On Wednesday, after two lawmakers completed their swearing-in properly, the Pro-Beijing legislators staged a walk-out, post which the chamber did not have the quorum required to continue. They blasted the two activists for being "disrespectful" and insulting China and asked them to apologise.
The activists prompted outrage among the Pro-Beijing establishment last week, when they pledged allegiance to "Hong Kong nation" and flaunted the banner announcing "Hong Kong is not China", using language some lawmakers dubbed as derogatory Japanese slang.
Regina Ip, a senior pro-Beijing legislator said she disliked walk outs but the lawmakers had no other choice after the two declined to apologise for "insulting the motherland". She added: "This is a very exceptional case involving a fundamental principle which involves loyalty to your country and adherence to our oath of upholding the ... law."
Yau Wai-Ching said that it was the pro-establishment people that needed to apologise because they were "the ones who really betrayed the Hong Kong people".
The government of Hong Kong launched an attempt to delay Leung and Yau's swearing-in and hoped the court would bar the two, but the high court on Tuesday rejected the request and paved the way for them to be sworn in. The court, however, agreed to a judicial review.