HONG KONG -- In a fractured legislature, the tiniest of sparks can trigger a political inferno. That is happening in Hong Kong, where lawmakers have been locked in a heated standoff for weeks over something that is typically a formality for new officials: taking an oath of office.
The chaos comes on the heels of September's election for the Legislative Council, Hong Kong's lawmaking body. A third attempt to kick off legislative sessions on Wednesday ended in failure as the council's president, Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen, delayed the swearing-in of two pro-independence lawmakers -- Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching of the Youngspiration party -- who have allegedly insulted China. The pair was escorted into the chamber by opposition lawmakers, in defiance of orders by the pro-Beijing Leung that they not be let in. The session was adjourned until next week.