• Fri
  • Jul 11, 2014
  • Updated: 2:47pm
NewsHong Kong
POLITICAL REFORM

Opponents of Beijing ineligible to be CE: top Chinese official

Top mainland official cites 3-stage test under which any candidate who 'confronts' central government would fail to qualify for election

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 24 March, 2013, 11:03pm
UPDATED : Monday, 25 March, 2013, 7:45am
 

Poll

  • Yes: 79%
  • No: 21%
25 Mar 2013
  • Yes
  • No
Total number of votes recorded: 144

A top mainland official yesterday set the tone for the debate over Hong Kong's political reform by declaring that any members from the opposition camp who insist on confronting the central government cannot become the city's chief executive.

Despite declaring Beijing's "unswerving" commitment to universal suffrage by 2017, Qiao Xiaoyang, chairman of the Law Committee under the National People's Congress, also dropped the most significant hint so far about a screening mechanism being introduced ahead of the chief executive poll in 2017.

Qiao made the remarks in a closed-door seminar on the Basic Law, Hong Kong's mini-constitution, attended by almost 40 pro-establishment lawmakers in Shenzhen yesterday.

In the meeting - attended by the director of the State Council's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, Wang Guangya, and the director of the liaison office in Hong Kong, Zhang Xiaoming - Qiao said the central government insisted that it was committed to Hong Kong achieving universal suffrage by 2017 in accordance with the Basic law.

It was "also unswerving that chief executive candidates must be persons who love the country and love Hong Kong, while the methods in the universal suffrage must match with the Basic Law and the decisions by the NPC Standing Committee", he said.

In a rare elaboration, Qiao admitted it would be difficult to write into law criteria for the "love country, love Hong Kong" notion, but those "who confront the central government" would fail to qualify, he said. This would be decided in three steps. "Firstly, the nomination committee will decide. Then the voters in Hong Kong will decide. Lastly, the central government will decide whether to appoint [the candidate] or not. Every person has a scale in their hearts," Qiao said.

He then referred to the opposition camp, an apparent reference to pan-democrats, and ruled them out of the race.

"As long as they insist on confronting the central government, they cannot become the chief executive," he said. "One day, when they give up going against the central government, and prove by their actions they will not harm the interests of the country and Hong Kong, the door is open for them."

A lawmaker who attended the meeting said Qiao cited at least one article written by former Democratic Party chairman Albert Ho Chun-yan, who stood against Leung Chun-ying for chief executive in 2012. In an article published in a Chinese-language newspaper, Ho called for an end to one-party rule.

Qiao said candidates had to be nominated by a newly formed nominating committee "as a whole", instead of by individual committee members, as in previous chief executive elections.

Pan-democrats said Qiao's explanation paved the way for a screening mechanism ahead of the chief executive poll.

 

 


What Qiao Xiaoyang Said

On the pro-democracy camp:
As long as they insist on confronting the central government, they cannot become the chief executive. One day when they give up going against the central government, and prove by their actions they will not harm the interests of the country and Hong Kong, the door is open for them to become the chief executive.

On the reasons for not accepting a chief executive candidate who confronts the central government:
If a person who confronts the central government becomes the chief executive, it can be expected that the tension between the two governments will be heightened, the close connection between Hong Kong and the mainland will be damaged, and that Hong Kong society will be torn apart.

On how to judge suitable candidates:
Firstly, the nomination committee will decide. Then the voters in Hong Kong will decide. Lastly, the central government will decide whether to appoint [the candidate] or not. Every person has a scale in their hearts.

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This article is now closed to comments

rpasea
It looks like you are out of the running for CE!
toxxygen
Maybe Hong Kong people should decide which candidates love Hong Kong and country most by universal suffrage.
lucifer
well its clear "love the country" is synonymous with love the Communist Party. This is going to be hard to swallow for most people. Choosing a candidate that must agree with the Communist Party on all levels is inappropriate for a democratically CE in HK.
ianson
The rumblings were cunningly deployed by the likes of Rita Fan and Elsie Leung and others to soften us up for the blow on the chin we receive today from the most authoritative mouthpiece of the Party. We saw it coming and we will respond.

I love Hong Kong and I believe in the great peoples of the the Chinese nation, but I despise the Communist Party and particularly the thieves, despots and gangsters who lead it. Evidently, if I were to run for CE, I'd be excluded because I don't love the Party, too. The conditions are laid in stone now and it will only take Occupy Central and a full confrontation to ensure our freedom. Time to abandon ship or stand and fight for our freedom and values?
superdx
If the opposition can truly produce a candidate who is respectable, honest and shows thoughtfulness, the Hong Kong people will vote regardless of what anyone in China says. It'd be the proudest moment as a Hong Kong citizen to elect who we want to elect.

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