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China Leader Tells Hong Kong: Seek Integration, Not Independence

  • Communists’ No. 3 tells city rocking boat will bring no good
  • Zhang Dejiang urges deeper ties with mainland economy
Zhang Dejiang in Hong Kong on May 18, 2016.

Zhang Dejiang in Hong Kong on May 18, 2016.

Photographer: Isaac Lawrence/AFP via Getty Images
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China’s top official for Hong Kong urged the city to prosper by embracing greater economic integration and rejecting the more radical independence movement that has taken root in the wake of pro-democracy protests in 2014.

Zhang Dejiang -- the Communist Party’s No. 3 official and the most senior leader to visit Hong Kong in four years -- made his remarks Wednesday at a banquet attended by top city officials and business leaders. Zhang denounced efforts by some pro-democracy advocates who call themselves "localists" to seek greater autonomy, even independence, from the mainland, in China’s highest-level criticism of the movement.