Two Hong Kong separatist lawmakers are attending a hearing at the city's High Court to appeal a court judgment that disqualified them from taking office.

Sixtus Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching from the Youngspiration Party had altered their oaths by adding anti-China insults at the swearing-in ceremony last month.

A Nov. 15 ruling said they could not be seated because they had violated the semi-autonomous Chinese city's mini-constitution along with rules on the taking of oaths by elected officials.

Beijing had pre-empted the court by issuing its own controversial ruling aimed at blocking the pair from getting a second chance at taking their oaths.

Leung, 30, and Yau, 25, had also displayed a flag that said "Hong Kong is Not China" and used an archaic derogatory Japanese term for China.