After breaking up Scholarism, the leader of the student group, Joshua Wong Chi-fai is set to launch his new political party – Demosisto – on Sunday.
Wong is to unveil Demosisto – derived from Greek (“demo” for “people”) and Latin (“sisto” for “to stand”), meaning “stand for democracy” – alongside Occupy movement comrades Nathan Law Kwun-chung, Oscar Lai Man-lok and Agnes Chow Ting.
Details of their agenda are unclear, but Wong, the young face of Hongkongers’ pursuit of democracy during the Occupy campaign in 2014, had previously called for a referendum to decide whether to change ‘one country, two systems’ or even to achieve self-determination in 2047.
The party, whose name was made public in a press release yesterday, is also expected to field candidates in the Legislative Council elections later this year.
Demosisto’s formation comes as the city hotly debates the issue of Hong Kong independence.
Wong yesterday crossed swords with a staunch supporter of the chief executive, who likened advocating independence to “bullying” and “robbery”.
Kaizer Lau Ping-cheung, deputy director of Leung Chun-ying’s election campaign team in 2012, said if Wong put forward a referendum on Hong Kong’s fate beyond 2047, “he should seek the opinions of the 1.3 billion Chinese citizens first”.
Wong said he accepted the model of “one country, two systems” if the city could implement democracy and autonomy under Chinese sovereignty.
‘One country, two systems’ had lost its way “in the past 19 years, especially after Leung took office”, Wong said, citing Beijing’s 2014 white paper stating “complete jurisdiction” over Hong Kong, and the recent case of the missing booksellers.
Lau, an adviser to Our Hong Kong Foundation – a think tank backed by former local officials – said the government should beef up national education to let students better understand China and its “huge progress” on human rights.
But Wong cast doubts on Beijing’s sincerity in understanding young Hongkongers, as he could not even cross the border to the mainland.