China has said that it may sanction Hong Kong pro-independence supporters after a number of pro-independence activists were elected to Hong Kong’s Legislative Council, two years after the “umbrella revolution," amplified anti-China sentiment.
Pro-independence candidates won 30 of 70 legislative council seats and the pro-independence bloc's veto authority can help thwart constitutional amendments and serve as a check on China’s influence.
Six pro-democracy candidates were disqualified from the elections because of their support for independence. A number of those elected are avid supporters of independence including Nathan Law, a former protester in the In the “umbrella revolution" protests in September 2014. A number of sit- in style protests shut down the city for more than two months in one of the strongest demonstrations against Beijing in decades.
“We still have to unite in order to have stronger power to fight the Chinese Communist Party,” Law told Reuters. A record 2.2 million people voted in the election.
WATCH: Pro-Democracy Activists Elected to China's Legislative Council
Hong Kong is known as a “special administrative area,” which is technically part of China but governed by separate laws under a "one country, two systems" framework when the former British colony was given back to China in 1997.
But a growing number in Hong Kong are fed up with China’s control of the city state and are demanding more self-determination and democracy, which has ruffled feathers with China.
In July, Thousands took part in “black mask” pro-democracy protests and in protest of Chinese booksellers they say have been abducted. “Black mask” protesters have been described as “radical localists” by the South China Morning Post.
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China has repeatedly stated its opposition to independence in the city state and say that it would violate China’s constitution and also affect Hong Kong’s prosperity.
China has also repeatedly warned Taiwan and its pro-independence movements of negative consequences if they shift away the "one China" policy.