Beijing tells delegates to brush up on research

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 March, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 March, 2011, 12:00am

Hong Kong's delegates to the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference were told to do more research on national affairs and take a more active role in linking with young people in the city.

Li Guikang , deputy director of the central government's liaison office in Hong Kong, told delegates to make better use of the Friends of Hong Kong Association - an unofficial organisation set up by Beijing-loyal forces, including members of the CPPCC and the National People's Congress - to improve the quality of their work.

The association announced last month that it invited 50 speakers to give a series of talks at secondary schools until July to increase pupils' understanding of modern China. The move was seen as an attempt by the pro-Beijing camp in Hong Kong to gain more prominence.

Speaking at a closed-door discussion during the annual plenary meetings of the CPPCC, Li was quoted by delegates as giving them three pieces of advice.

First, delegates should take part in more activities held by the CPPCC, particularly involving research. In the past year, only seven of the some 200 local members had attended all official events.

A table will be sent out to each delegate to record their attendance, asking them to participate more often in events.

'The attendance rate is quite high. Delegates are very active,' Li said when asked afterwards.

Second, delegates should voice their opinions on social and economic issues, and third, they should connect with people from all walks of life, young people in particular.

Li encouraged them to use the association, headed by CPPCC Standing Committee member Chan Wing-kee, as a channel.

The call to step up youth-related work echoed that made by CPPCC chairman Jia Qinglin in his annual work report delivered on Thursday.

The state leader urged Hong Kong members to the national advisory body to 'expand channels of communication with influential figures, strengthen contact with political groups, social groups and representative figures' and 'increase the strength of our work related to young people' in the city.

Christopher Cheung Wah-fung, one of the delegates at the meeting, said Li expressed concern over social harmony in Hong Kong, mentioning the incident where Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen was allegedly attacked by a young protester, and demonstrations against the government's budget.