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Chinese Parliamentary Sessions 2013

March 2013 sees the annual meeting of the two legislative and consultative bodies of China, where major policies are decided and key government officials appointed. The National People's Congress (NPC) is held in the Great Hall of the People in China's capital, Beijing, and with 2,987 members, is the largest parliament in the world. It gathers alongside the People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) whose members represent various groups of society.

NewsHong Kong

Displays of Hong Kong's colonial flag offend Beijing

'Centrifugal forces' and symbols of a former era will not be allowed, Politburo Standing Committee member tells CPPCC delegates

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 07 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 07 March, 2013, 9:28am


  • Yes: 7%
  • No: 93%
7 Mar 2013
  • Yes
  • No
Total number of votes recorded: 2,301

A state leader yesterday denounced Hong Kong activists who waved colonial flags during recent protests and warned that "opposition" and "centrifugal forces" would not be allowed to rule the city after universal suffrage was introduced.

Yu Zhengsheng, a member of the Communist Party Politburo Standing Committee - and tipped to be the next chairman of the nation's top advisory body - is the first high-level mainland official to address controversies involving Hong Kong.

In a closed meeting with Hong Kong delegates to the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, Yu also referred to the parallel trade in infant milk formula and mainland women giving birth in Hong Kong.

One delegate quoted Yu as saying that Hong Kong could not become a base and bridgehead for subverting the mainland.

"When he spoke about the election of the chief executive by universal suffrage in 2017, Yu said 'opposition' and 'centrifugal forces' could not be allowed to rule Hong Kong after universal suffrage was attained," the delegate said. "It is not good for Hong Kong and the country," Yu was quoted as saying.

Again quoting Yu, the delegate said: "The Chinese people will not accept some Hongkongers waving the colonial flag."

The Chinese people will not accept some Hongkongers waving the colonial flag

However, Yu also told Hong Kong delegates to the CPPCC yesterday that he understood the grievances in Hong Kong towards mainlanders coming to the city to compete for resources.

Delegate Tam Yiu-chung said Yu, who served as Shanghai party secretary from 2007 to 2012, spoke of tensions in that city over people who came from other parts of the country to give birth.

"Some Shanghai residents are unhappy with this phenomenon and municipal authorities have had to increase the number of beds for obstetric services to solve the problem," he said.

Delegate Chan Yuen-han, quoted Yu as saying that some Shanghai residents were unhappy about students from other provinces and cities competing for university places.

Another delegate said Yu mentioned that 40 per cent of patients at Shanghai hospitals came from other parts of the mainland.

"It was because the standard of medical service in Shanghai was more advanced. We resolved this simply by building two extra hospitals," Yu said.

Yu also told the delegates that, under the "one country, two systems" formula, conflict between Hongkongers and mainlanders should be handled by Hong Kong's administration. "He is confident that the Hong Kong government can handle the matter properly," Chan said.

Yu also said the government's resolve in implementing the "one country, two systems" principle and supporting the chief executive would never change.



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This article is now closed to comments

A "Brit" who writes in American English, I suspect another paid comment maker.
John Adams
I agree with Mr Yu Zhengsheng !
Waving the HK colonial flag offends me as well - and I am a 30 -year HK PR, originally from UK ( thus a "brit")
Read Julia Lovell's ":The Opium War " to see how shamefully we "brits" behaved in the 1800's towards China . "Shamefully" is much too weak a word. "Disgusting" would be better (which is also how the UK behaved towards India and many other colonies/countries)
HK is part of China : always has been and always will be.
It's by the grace of China = Beijing = the CCP that I , as a "brit" , am treated on equal terms with every local Cantonese resident, and every Mainland "emigree" - and all others who live here of whatever other nationality.
(I have spent almost 3 decades working in China and I have seen 1 billion people lift themselves up by their own bootlaces . Criticize the CCP as much as you wish, but what the CCP has achieved since Deng Xiaoping far outweighs their failings along the way. I have nothing except pure admiration for the CCP )
I don't feel that protestors waving the colonial flag are celebrating Hong Kong's past as a British colony. I feel they are trying to draw attention to their central point: HK has problems with overcrowding, rents pushing out family businesses, a skewed retail sector damaging to HKers, etc.
I am neither British nor ethnically Chinese, and am glad HK was returned to China. Overall, Beijing has done a good job of managing the HKSAR. But HKers have the right to protest on livelihood issues.
Parallel-trading clogging our rail system and "national education" being forced into our schools were bad policy. The CYL administration reversed these wrongheaded policies and HKers benefitted. If waving flags during rallies helped speed the scrapping of these policies, then I'm glad the flags were out. Freedom of speech is not curtailed because someone is "offended." Even if I don't agree with a particular protest, I accept and appreciated that HKers have the right to protest. Whether I'm offended or not isn't the issue. Whether Mr Yu is offended or not, protests will continue--that's the law, and that's as it should be.
The fact of the matter is that HK is uniquely different in all respects. Records show that when there British arrived in HK, the population was 7500 inhabitants. The overwhelming majority of HK residents escaped from the tyranny and chaos of the mainland or are their descendants.
They came to HK to build a better life under a well governed system that enjoyed the rule of law and a stable economy that provided opportunities unheard of in the mainland. That system is what built HK. Those people came to HK by choice and they are still coming. To deny the colonial role in building Hong Kong and to compare the British in HK to other European colonies that were conquered and occupied is misplaced. HK owes its legacy to the British administration, who may I add honored the terms of the NT lease and gracefully departed.
It must be quite embarrassing when Hong Kongers express some nostalgia for the vestiges of colonialism over that of Big Brother.
Good to hear your point of view, PDB1688. Thank you.
When I saw the flags, what I thought I was seeing was a protest saying, "new boss, same as the old boss," pointing out a continuing lack of true democracy rather than any desire to go back to British rule. This flag demonstration is ambiguous and open to various interpretations. There is always the freedom to agree and make nice. The only meaningful freedom is to disagree and surely it is up to those disagreeing to decide upon the content thereof.
What a load…what else will they be offend by? I know some people in Hong Kong are offended by the flag of the illegitimate Communist Party. That flag symbolizes tyranny, inequality, oppression, disregard for basic human rights and domination over the people.
Comments like this from mainland officials only show how out of touch they are are how insulated their power "bubble" is.
"Another delegate said Yu mentioned that 40 per cent of patients at Shanghai hospitals came from other parts of the mainland.
"It was because the standard of medical service in Shanghai was more advanced. We resolved this simply by building two extra hospitals," Yu said"
Did you also give all 40% of those children a Shanghai hukou? Of course not, so it's a totally bogus comparison. Yu must certainly realize this.



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