Youngspiration

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Youngspiration

青年新政
ConvenorBaggio Leung
Founded21 January 2015
MembershipIncrease ~400[1]
IdeologyDirect democracy
Hong Kong nationalism
Nativism[2]
Right-wing localism[3][4]
Right-wing populism[2]
Political positionRight-wing[5][6]
Colours     Orange
Legislative Council
0 / 70
District Councils
0 / 458
Website
youngspiration.hk
Youngspiration
Traditional Chinese青年新政
Literal meaningYouth new policy

Youngspiration (Chinese: 青年新政) is a localist political party in Hong Kong founded in 2015. It emerged after the 2014 Hong Kong protests (often dubbed as the "Umbrella Revolution") with an agenda of protection of Hong Kong people's interests and culture against the interference of the Chinese government and advocated the "Hong Kong nation's right to self-determination". The group wants a self-determination referendum in 2020 with the results effective in 2047, when China's "one country, two systems" promise ends.[7] As of 2016, the convenor of the group is Baggio Leung.

Youngspiration was part of the localist electoral alliance ALLinHK in the 2016 legislative election and won two seats in the direct elections. Baggio Leung and Yau Wai-ching, the two Youngspiration democratic elected legislators, triggered a controversy when they made pro-independence statements "Hong Kong is not China" during the oaths of office with insult words to China and were ejected from the Legislative Council by the court after the National People's Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC) interpreted the Article 104 of the Basic Law of Hong Kong, which specifically targeted the duo's conduct by "clarifying" the provision of the legislators to swear allegiance to Hong Kong as part of China when they take office.

History[edit]

Founding and activism[edit]

Youngspiration was established in January 2015 by a group of young people who had participated in the 2014 Hong Kong protests. Its founding convenor, Baggio Leung, was the president of the City University of Hong Kong Students' Union in 2007. Due to its background, it was often labelled as one of the "umbrella organisations". It adopted the emerging localist ideology, claiming to safeguard Hong Kong people's interests, freedoms and culture against the influx of mainland Chinese immigrants and tourists as well as the Chinese government's growing encroachment on the territory. It supported the restriction of Chinese immigrants and the empowerment of the Hong Kong government to regulate and manage the one-way permit scheme.

In July 2015, Youngspiration organised a protest to demand deportation of an undocumented 12-year-old mainland boy Siu Yau-wai, who lived in Hong Kong for nine years without identification.[4] Siu, whose parents are alive and well in mainland China, stayed with his grandparents after having overstayed his two-way permit nine years ago. Some called on the authorities to consider the case on a humanitarian basis and grant Siu permanent citizenship while Youngspiration worried that the case would open the floodgates to appeals from other illegal immigrants, asked for the boy to be repatriated. The boy and his grandmother were constantly harassed and eventually gave up and returned to his parents in mainland China.[8]

2015/16 elections[edit]

In the 2015 District Council election, Youngspiration fielded nine candidates, in which three of them ran against the pan-democratic Democratic Party. Physician Kwong Po-yin defeated the then-incumbent Chairman of the Kowloon City District Council Lau Wai Wing, becoming the only Youngspiration candidate elected as a member of the Kowloon City District Council, representing the Whampoa West constituency.[1] Kwong later left Youngspiration in June 2016.[9]

Youngspiration also called for a primary with the pan-democractic Civic Party for the New Territories East by-election, 2016 after the incumbent ex-Civic legislator Ronny Tong resigned, despite drawing differences between the pan-democracy camp and themselves.[10] They withdrew after meeting with the Civic Party and endorsed the candidacy of Edward Leung of the Hong Kong Indigenous, who ran under the localist banner for the first time.[11]

In the 2016 Legislative Council election, Youngpsiration formed an electoral alliance named "ALLinHK" with five other Umbrella organisations, namely Kowloon East Community, Tin Shui Wai New Force, Cheung Sha Wan Community Establishment Power, Tsz Wan Shan Constructive Power and Tuen Mun Community.[12] The alliance vowed to push forward the right to self-determination of the "Hong Kong nation". Convenor Baggio Leung, who stated to stand as Edward Leung's substitute right before the Electoral Affairs Commission invalidated Edward's nomination, and Yau Wai-ching were elected, the latter being the youngest female member of the Legislative Council.[13][14]

Disqualification from Legislative Council[edit]

Youngspiration's two legislators Baggio Leung and Yau Wai-ching were under fire when they inserted their own words into the official script of the swearing-in at the first session of the Legislative Council. They pronounced China as "Chee-na", the derogatory pronunciation used during the Second Sino-Japanese War, calling the "People's Republic of China" the "people's re-fucking of Chee-na". Their oaths were rejected by the secretary-general of the Legislative Council.[15] Subsequently, their qualification as legislators was challenged by the government in court.[16] The National People's Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC) intervened the court case by interpreting the Article 104 of the Basic Law of Hong Kong to "clarify" the provision of the legislators to swear allegiance to Hong Kong as part of China when they take office, stating that they would firmly oppose Hong Kong independence. As a consequence, the court vacated the two legislators' seats.[17] Their seats in the Legislative Council were replaced by DAB's Vincent Cheng (Kowloon West) and Neo Democrats' Gary Fan (New Territories East) after the by-election which was held in March 2018.

Performance in elections[edit]

Legislative Council elections[edit]

Election Number of
popular votes
% of
popular votes
GC
seats
FC
seats
Total seats +/− Position
2016 63,904Steady 2.93Steady 2 0
2 / 70
2Increase 8thIncrease

District Council elections[edit]

Election Number of
popular votes
% of
popular votes
Total
elected seats
+/−
2015 12,520Steady 0.87Steady
1 / 431
1Increase

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Lau, Kenneth (21 September 2015). "Young guns to take on election veterans". The Standard.
  2. ^ a b Sataline, Suzanne (18 May 2015). "Meet the Man Who Wants to Make Hong Kong a City-State". Foreign Policy.
  3. ^ 李峻嶸 (2016-02-22). "李峻嶸:泛民和泛社運如何催生右翼本土". 端傳媒.
  4. ^ a b "Localism: Why is support for the political perspective growing - and who's behind it?". Time Out Hong Kong. 1 July 2015.
  5. ^ "Hong Kong elections redraw political map". Chinaworker. 10 September 2016.
  6. ^ "The New Localists". Varsity. 2 November 2016.
  7. ^ Cheung, Gary; Fung, Owen (26 August 2016). "Why Beijing's headache over calls for Hong Kong's independence has only just begun". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
  8. ^ "Abandoned boy, 12, divides opinion in bid for Hong Kong residency". South China Morning Post. 22 May 2015.
  9. ^ "區議員鄺葆賢退出青年新政 青政指曾挽留未成功". Stand News. 17 June 2016.
  10. ^ "青年新政:公民黨非同路人". Apple Daily. 7 December 2015.
  11. ^ "【新東補選】本民前梁天琦參選 稱獲青年新政支持 若進議會拉布點人數「是基本」". Ming Pao. 10 January 2015.
  12. ^ "青年新政:立會選舉不會與本民前撞區出選". Now News. 1 March 2016.
  13. ^ "Localists submit nomination for 'substitute candidate' in LegCo election". Hong Kong Free Press. 29 July 2016.
  14. ^ "The comeback kids: From district council election losers to Hong Kong lawmakers in 10 months". Hong Kong Free Press. 8 September 2016.
  15. ^ "Three rejections and multiple deviations mark Hong Kong Legislative Council swearing-in". South China Morning Post. 12 October 2016.
  16. ^ "Hong Kong government fails to block localist duo from retaking Legco oaths, but wins right to seek judicial review". South China Morning Post. 18 October 2016.
  17. ^ "Hong Kong court rules localist lawmakers must vacate Legco seats". South China Morning Post. 15 November 2016.