HONG KONG: An appeal bid by two anti-China lawmakers against their disqualification from Hong Kong’s parliament was rejected Monday, as the activists declared “war” on the authorities. Baggio Leung and Yau Wai-ching are part of a new movement calling for semi-autonomous Hong Kong to split from China as concerns grow that Beijing is cracking down on freedoms in the city. The pair deliberately misread their oaths of office, inserted expletives and draped themselves with “Hong Kong is not China” flags during a swearing-in ceremony in October. They were then disqualified from retaking their oaths by Hong Kong’s high court, after an intervention by Beijing. Hong Kong’s court of appeal rejected an attempt to overthrow the disqualification in November. On Monday it also rejected their bid seeking leave to take their case to the city’s court of final appeal—Hong Kong’s highest court. Speaking outside the court, Leung, 30, told reporters: “This is the beginning of a war.” Justice Maggie Poon based her ruling on a special “interpretation” of the city’s constitution by Beijing in November that effectively prevented Yau and Baggio from taking up their seats because of the way they took the oath.