Meeting yields no results

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 26 May, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 26 May, 2010, 12:00am

Democratic Party leaders met a top central government representative in Hong Kong for the first time in some 20 years to discuss the city's political reforms, but the meeting did little to resolve differences.

Monday's meeting was attended by three leaders of the Democratic Party. The party is viewed with suspicion by the central government because it is often critical of the mainland.

Li Gang, deputy director of the central government liaison's office, exchanged views with Democratic Party chairman Albert Ho Chun-yan, vice-chairwoman Emily Lau Wai-hing and executive committee member Cheung Man-kwong at the liaison office headquarters in Western District.

This was the first meeting held between a top mainland representative and the Democrats since the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown.

Their discussion focused on how Hong Kong should achieve universal suffrage and, in particular, the government's constitutional reform package that proposes changes to the elections for the chief executive and legislators in 2012.

Ho said they told Li they would like to see more changes in the package. These include a universal vote for five new seats in the Legislative Council functional constituencies in 2012 and the abolition of all the constituencies by 2020.

But Li had different views on the issues. Ho said: 'We stated our stance repeatedly [at the meeting]. We will vote against the package if the central government denies our requests.'

Li described the meeting as 'frank' and 'sincere', but said differing views were inevitable.

'We hope the Democratic Party will seek common ground and accept differences,' Li said. 'I hope legislators will ... make a responsible decision when they vote on the reform package.'