Newly elected pro-democracy lawmaker Raymond Chan Chi-chuen tries to break through the security guards during the election of president of the Legislative Council in Hong Kong, Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
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Three newly elected Hong Kong lawmakers were barred from the legislature on Wednesday after using a swearing-in ceremony to raise the contentious issues of independence and more democracy, highlighting growing defiance of Beijing.The three are among a new generation in the city, which returned to Chinese rule in 1997, demanding greater self determination, at least six of whom won seats in its 70-member legislature in an election last month.Hong Kong's mini-constitution, or Basic Law, drawn up when the former British colony returned to China, does not explicitly forbid discussion of independence and it grants freedom of expression.But its first article states that Hong Kong is an inalienable part of China.Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang declined to comment on what the new legislators said but reiterated Hong Kong's status as part of China.Younger people have grown frustrated at stalled changes, sparking unprecedented calls for various forms of greater autonomy, from self-determination to independence.
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