Beijing advisers told not to meddle in SAR

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 09 November, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 09 November, 2000, 12:00am

A top mainland official yesterday said Beijing-appointed advisers in the SAR should not just focus on their own interests.

Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) chairman Li Ruihuan also warned appointees that their comments on SAR affairs would be seen as interference and would blur the 'one country, two systems' concept.

Mr Li, speaking to about 100 delegates in Kowloon, said he was concerned with their performance. Without naming names, he said he felt sad when he found that some delegates made mistakes.

He said it was against the principle of 'one country, two systems' if Beijing appointees spoke on SAR internal affairs.

'As local delegates to the CPPCC, you shall not use your status to interfere in Hong Kong affairs,' he said. 'I have repeated this statement since the handover. And today, I wanted to restate my position that the statement is still correct. The CPPCC belongs to the mechanism under socialism, while Hong Kong does not have such a thing.'

But he said appointees could still speak their minds.

Tycoon Gordon Wu Ying-sheung told Mr Li yesterday pro-democracy campaigners were splitting Hong Kong like the 'Red Guards of the Cultural Revolution'.

The Hopewell Holdings chairman fired the broadside when Mr Li invited SAR conference delegates to air their views during a discussion.

Mr Wu accused the pro-democracy camp of undermining stability. Without naming a person or party, Mr Wu said some had emphasised 'two systems', but disrespected the fact that China was the sovereign power. 'They keep on acting as opponents to China and Tung [Chee-hwa] whenever possible. Their intention is to split society,' he said.

Democratic Party chairman Martin Lee Chu-ming said the Democrats were not anti-China. 'Mr Li has called for unity. I don't think he would be very pleased to hear Mr Wu's remarks, which indeed splits the community,' Mr Lee said.

Mr Li also said he was surprised by the enormous security presence during his visit. 'I merely wanted to listen to Hong Kong people's opinions and look around,' he said, adding that the high security had made him cut some parts of his visit.