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  • Nov 1, 2014
  • Updated: 8:28am
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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

blue
pflim040:

Even with a screening mechanism, there will be more democracy in 2017 if the pan-dems don't veto this. The CE will be accountable to the voters even if he or she was pre screened. If the CE does a bad job, they will be voted out of office in the next election.

The USA also has screening mechanisms in place. It is a two party system after all. There are both legislative and financial restrictions in place to ensure that only a Republican or Democrat political candidate becomes US president. Historically these restrictions have been proven to be effective.

Every US president so far has been pretty moderate and panders to corporations who finance their political campaigns rather than to the voters themselves! Obama in his first election promised to kick out lobbyists (Worse than FCs!) from his administration. What did he do as soon as he was elected? Appointed a bunch of lobbyists!! The best part is that once Obama's first term was up, everyone forgot about Obama's broken promises and re-elected him again. I don't really blame the voters because Mitt Romney wasn't much of an alternative. Welcome to Democracy!

The US screening mechanism against third parties is so effective that even both houses of the legislature are compromised of mostly Democrats and Republicans. There are only 1 or 2 independent lawmakers! Oh yeah and most US law is written by corporations and passed on to the lawmaker.
hard times !
No one with sense in Hong Kong will believe that the ones who harm the interests of Hong Kong are the pan-democrats who support a geniune universal suffrage for the election of our chief executive in 2017 and a universal suffrage of our lawmakers in 2020.What is wrong with that ? Only when our leader and all our lawmakers are directly-elected by all qualified voters in town.will they be responsible/accoutable to us in their policies and acts plus words.Once their performances are below average or expectation,they will be forced to step down through the votes of the voters in the next election or even be cast no-confidence vote against them.Right ?
daviddaiho
What some Chinese leaders do not seem to understand is that one could still "love country and love HK" while disagreeing with their decisions. It is healthy to have divergent view points, including dissent. Intolerance stifles meaningful discourse.
dienamik
NO MORE SAR STATUS! TRUE DEMOCRACY IN CHINA! LET CHINESE VOTE WHETHER HONG KONG SHOULD HAVE SPECIAL STATUS!
superdx
So, China should decide to vote whether or not to keep Hong Kong?
That would be the dumbest vote ever. In both scenarios, both China and Hong Kong would lose. Grow up man.
blue
Guys like dienamik are basically people power voters.
hodfords
It is these kinds of comments from people like Mr Qiao that polarises the differences between Hong Kong and the Mainland - completely lacking in political acumen and understanding of the local culture.
Perhaps he has not been properly briefed on the meaning of universal suffrage. Can somebody help this poor fellow out?
Sunny
Isn’t it strange that they are combining the insistence of ‘loving the country’ with accepting the government and regime? If you are against and criticise the government, even if they are corrupt, then, in their opinion, it means you don’t love the country? Both are separate matters. Can a person not love their country, but be against the government, especially if the regime is corrupt and based on authoritarian control? This is just further control methods to ensure a corrupt ‘one-party-rule’ remains as it expands its territory in Asia, thus, further tightening its control and limiting the freedoms of its people. Why even vote, when it is screened and processed to suit the agenda of the CCP?
Paradox314
It could be argued - no, it MUST be argued, that any candidate who was not prepared to confront the Central Government (or any other agent) in defense of justice, fairness, right and Truth in defense of the interests of Hong Kong or the interests of China does NOT love Hong Kong or China for that matter. Any individual who would refuse to say "No!" to power in defense of justice is a person who loves their own skin more than anything else. This is kind of political stooge desired by Qiao Xiaoyang to lead Hong Kong. Clearly this gentleman also does not love China. He loves serving his master without concern for right or Truth. This Qiao Xiaoyang must inquire deeply into what it REALY means to love one's country, for he clearly is very confused. Those who really Love their country will be prepared to say "No" to it's leaders even unto death if that is what is demanded by righteousness and Love.
hard times !
opponents of Beijing authorites (the Chinese Communist Party government) can never be our chief executive candidates---this new bottom-line has not been listed in the Basic Law.And so-called 'love China, love Hong Kong' also not listed in it too.Late Deng Xiao-ping said that most Hongkongers love the nation and Hong Kong.Besides,what is the critieria of 'love nation and love Hong Kong' ? I wonder.There should never be a screening scheme, not to say a bottom-line set well before a formal consultation is launched by the Leung administration which is deliberately prolong it. Right ? Maybe all pan-democratic voters should seriously consider boycotting the election by not voting ----just like the pro-establishment elements boycotted the referendum in 2010 !
SpeakFreely
HK people are getting naive? In the real world, politics are pretty much driven by money even in the States. Yes, according to Basic Law, Hk should have own freedom, if you believe every single word of Deng.. But as we Hongkongers are giving up on being financially independent since the takeover, most of our biz relied on China, practically we gave up our freedom. Think please. I am not pro BJ as I don't even have a SAR passport. But imagine if BJ cut off the tourist, cut off the water, the food, the power, the biz, please tell me who Hongkongers will vote? You may say Bj won't risk that. Please! I think they will repeat tieneman sq if their power is compromised. Hk people should learn form Aung San Suki to work with compromise. She is strong not yielding but she is compromising, stop dreaming.
hard times !
Maybe this SpeakFreely not quite understand the Chinese Communist leaders who value their faces much more than anything else (except their families and private assets/wealth of course)---they would never do anything to ruin our beloved Hongkong by curbing the water transported here ( actually they supply more than what we need and thus earn quite a lot) nor stop foodstuff sending here (even during the riots in 1967) since there are still local leftists and pro-Beijing elements live here---will they sacrifice their own men while trying to punish many other pro-democracy Hongkongers ? Of course not ! As for the individual tourists from Mainland, it is a trivial matter.Don't forget, Hong Kong is an international city which welcomes visitors from all over the world.We had been and can be in the future ! Right ? Cepa is actually a mutual beneficial agreement only not a gift indeed !
serpiente
In these circumstances, it would be most interesting to learn what do people in Taiwan think about this issue.
SpeakFreely
Snakeeye: you are over valuing Hk as we are so low tech. Even in this online SCMP platform their apps is so lousy that I can't reply you after 10+ comments. Hk people are too complacent not improving ourselves. yes, Hk is relying on ext eternal economy a lot as we are a trade region, but in the past 10 years we are majority relying on China and will get deeper and deeper. Check out all listed companies in HK and you will see how much biz are conducted with China. Now we are like a child relying on our mainland parents for money but keep asking for our own choices. Yes, by theory we as a child could have our own choices, but in reality how much free choices do we have? Little.
ed_kwok
Qiao makes a lot of sense. I wish our democrat lawmakers can understand there is nothing to be gained by open hostility towards the system. Best thing to do is to be part of the system and work hard to gain credibility. When a position of power and influence is achieved the system can be change from the inside. This requires hard work and perseverance, something that our hard-fighting democrats have in spades. It also requires lawmakers to resist the personal benefits that the system brings.
dienamik
TRUE DEMOCRACY IN CHINA! LET CHINESE VOTE WHETHER HONG KONG SHOULD HAVE SPECIAL STATUS!
dienamik
Hong Kong should not even have SAR status. That should be removed immediately. The people of Hong Kong have shown themselves to be immature ungrateful little brats and willing pawns for foreign forces.
SpeakFreely
It is absolutely ok to have anyone as CE even against BJ. Like a state governor in the States can say things against Washington. But is Hongkongers ready as we are relying more and more on BJ for our economy? This is all empty talk if we are so relying on BJ and has no plan or capability of being financial independent.
SpeakFreely
Our universities are expanding by going to China, our factories are in China, our tourist are from China, our food and water and even electricity are from China, our HKSE CEO is a chinese because we look for more IPOs form china, our biz are expanding to china via CEPA, our developers are relying on mainlanders to buy condo and our landlords are hoping them to come to pop up the price, our artists are doing most biz in china, our retailers are relying on chinese, the list just goes on.....how much economic independence do we really have? If we are not financially independent we are all just empty talking.
Dai Muff
The world is financially connected. We're not even financially independent of the US, or Iceland, as the last crisis showed us. Doesn't mean we should have no say in our own destiny. And how many of those things you mention are hurting rather than helping the ordinary HK citizen?
johndoe
Anyone who does not love 12,000 floating pigs cannot run for CE.
Dai Muff
So basically, if you will stand up for Hong Kong's interests when they conflict with Beijing's (and I don't mean window-dressing with Communist blessing), you will never become CE. Which means all we will ever get are yes-men or hidden Party apparatchiks.
Democracy Communist style. Have to love it.
hard times !
if an election of which its result is already known, it is not a geniune universal suffrage indeed ! What we Hongkongers (at least most of them ) really want is never a faked universal suffrage but a true democracy according to the standard of the United Nations.In 2004, this old guy ----a political conservative one---disallowed we Hong Kong people to have a unversal suffrage in 2007 of our chief executive and 2008 of our lawmakers through an interpretation of the Basic Law.Now he tells us that there is a screening scheme which never listed in the Basic Law-----the elected Chief Executive should be one who loves his nation (or the Party actually) and Hong Kong plus can never be one who is an oppositionist in this city.
rpasea
Why did anyone expect something different? Beijing will never allow elections unless they know the outcome. Look at the recent election of Xi: some 2000 votes for and 3 votes against with 9 abstentions (I think the count was). My first thought was who would dare vote against or abstain...then I realized that these dissenting votes were organized by the Chinese Communist Party to give the illusion that dissent is tolerated and the election was not a complete sham. Give it up people of HK and get the foreign passports ready.
HK-Lover
Anyone who would have expected anything else is naive.
1. Beijing has to understand that anyone who loves his country does not have to like or accept the ruling party. One may fight the ruling party just because he loves the country.
2. China's system is a one-party system and this one-party is the communist party. Consequently the communist party is the system.
3. In many most developed democratic countries (the US does not fit that criteria necessarily) political parties that declare opposition to the system and want to over-through the system are not permitted to stand for elections or even prohibited as such. This is not to be mistaken for parties who want to over-through the ruling party. They are part of the system.
4. In Hong Kong we will end up with some kind of mix of universal suffrage, democracy and big brother ruling. Don't forget, we are 2 systems and these systems are antithetic. It needs to be a compromise which both sides can live with (and Beijing has the bigger say).
5. If the Democrats want to have any sort of say they need to learn to speak Beijing's language. At the end it's the results that count and not the means. Start to use Beijing's very own words and way for your (our) course and they will have difficulties to reject you.
HK-Explorer
Hopefully Hong Kong people are happy with the vetting of candidates. This is definitely a move in the right direction and the China government allowing elections is a big thing for them to do. It shows that they are open to the idea of giving the people the right to vote.
This will have even bigger consequences to China as it shows that if HK elections go well then slowly China will move the same way. Hopefully in the next 10 to 15 years both HK and China will have full and free elections. we just need to allow the government to move slowly towards this and not protest on every little point. (that will just take us backwards)
ejmciii
It is unsurprising that the Communist Party would determine that universal suffrage means you get to elect whomever they tell you will be your new overlord. I am sure the Taiwanese will love that bit.
RobinDeCaro
BE REALISTIC
1.A civilized society cannot bear the cost of letting rotten legislative members or persons that hold office in the government to indulge in deploying humiliating and abusive languages to pursuit their goals;not to mention violence and/or destructive actions.
2.Be realistic,preliminary selection is simply to avoid the embarrassment of not appointing CE elected by universal sufferage.Advice you before hand,do not have a false dream;as it is the situation world wide,political parties nominates candidates,not by the people at large.
mcheung
HK people need to be realistic. Even in the freest society in the world such as USA, where any person has the right to stand for election, and almost all of them has to be nominated by political parties, and go through the Primaries. I don't recall the USA has ever elected a President without affiliated to a political party.
dynamco
frankly they have probably had enough of banana throwing morons who consistently get ejected from Legco and who fail to represent the people of HKG , just their pathetic antics, and they deem HKG Legco members and their actions are not responsible enough to allow sensible democratic rule and duty of care that is required under the Legco oaths.
The Mainland's main target is reunification with Taiwan and HKG and Macau are supposed to be the example that it can work.
Meanwhile they should pay Legco members by the hour attended at Legco meetings - get thrown out = no income. Legco members should be full time, not part time lackeys with other jobs.
Dai Muff
"Meanwhile they should pay Legco members by the hour attended at Legco meetings" You need to pay attention. They will never do this because it's the pro-government ones who have the worst attendance records and only show up when they are told to for important votes.
mcheung
Agreed 100%. It's a waste of our tax dollar to support the part time, incompetent Legco members who have their own hidden agenda, rather than for the well being of ours.
Dai Muff
The problem is we disagree on which ones have the hidden agenda. I'd nominate the majority of the functional constituencies, NOT the ones that the people actually voted for.
caractacus
Well, here we go; finally the clouds part and we see the mountain. Under what law or lawful process will Qiao Xiaoyang carry his opinions into effect? Certainly not under any law. The PRC has laws but it does not respect or enforce them. There is only the whim of local or natiional tyrants. The rule of law is dead to these people who are incapable of the meanest understanding of what it means. They only understand force and violence. The Chinese Communist Party, so many of whose officials are corrupt on the grand scale, is supported by HK tycoons and appointed officials who have slavishy courted the PRC to make our city into the same kind of animal. China, aided and abetted by the real enemies of HK people, intends to betray the Joint Declaration and rig any elections by grotesquely distorting the meaning of universal suffrage while ignoring the needs of the people it was founded to represent. If that fails, they will use force.
It is clear that the people who run HK are corrupt officials and spoiled scions of the mega-rich who are loyal only to their money. No matter how amoral, dirty and corrupt they are, they are rewarded for ostensible loyalty to the Motherland. How disgusting. What a shameful abrogation of traditional Confucian values and a shame on the Chinese people. Will there ever be justice?
LunarRepublic
This can only lead to very, very, VERY ugly things.
lucifer
I think this is what we all expected. COme 2017, if they insist on this kind of "choose from our approved list of candidates" model, the people in Hong Kong will find it unacceptable. I don't believe they will take it lying down….stay tuned.
lamlm38
guys, get ur foreign passports ready.. its gonna get ugly from here... i love HK and China but never in my life time a CCP **** kisser :)
henleyhk
Wow! The commies really ARE spoiling for a fight. It's gonna get ugly!
ianson
Watch CY Leung and his people now. How is he going to handle the phoney consultation on democracy process now that it's all been laid out from on high? There's nothing left to discuss.
ianson
Qiao and his buddies have zero respect for the agreement which handed Hong Kong back to China. What's new? The entire "Communist" Party is a lie, starting from its very name. If they had any decency at all, they'd honestly rename it the "Rape and Pillage While Lying Through Our Grinning Teeth Party".
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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