• Fri
  • Nov 28, 2014
  • Updated: 1:43am
NewsHong Kong
POLITICS

Lu Ping: Too many Chinese mainlanders being allowed into Hong Kong

Ex-Beijing official says visit scheme is 'too open', but urges Hongkongers to consider their feelings

PUBLISHED : Friday, 10 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 10 May, 2013, 9:52am

The Beijing official who was in charge of Hong Kong affairs in the run-up to the handover says too many mainlanders are being allowed into the city.

Lu Ping , director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office until he retired in August 1997, also described the rush by mainlanders to buy baby milk formula as "very disgraceful".

But Lu and Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying urged Hongkongers to consider the feelings of mainlanders before making hostile comments.

In a pre-recorded interview with RTHK, Lu blamed the influx on the individual visit scheme, which he said was "too open".

The scheme was introduced by the central government in 2003 to help the city's economy recover from the impact of severe acute respiratory syndrome.

He appeared to back Leung's decision to put a zero quota on mainlanders giving birth in the city and capping the amount of infant milk formula that people can take out of Hong Kong.

Lu, 86 - who last year advised Hongkongers who waved the colonial flag during protests to leave China - backed a "crackdown on smuggling".

But he told the Headliner show in an interview in Shanghai, which will be broadcast tonight: "Hongkongers should consider the feelings of mainlanders … There is no need to voice degrading comments publicly, such as calling mainlanders locusts.

"This will only hurt the feelings of each other. Hongkongers should not be too utilitarian. After all, the individual visit scheme has done a lot to help the economy."

Asked about the Occupy Central movement - the plan for 10,000 protesters to blockade Central in the fight for "genuine" universal suffrage - Lu sighed and dismissed the idea. Blocking traffic would undermine investor confidence and hurt the city's competitiveness, he said. Lu also said many Hongkongers "failed to understand" that the Basic Law is part of the Constitution of the People's Republic of China.

He said: "According to the Basic Law, there is no question that chief executive candidates in Hong Kong should go through a nominating committee before being put to the popular vote … there should be some kind of limit on the number of candidates."

According to the Basic Law, there is no question that chief executive candidates in Hong Kong should go through a nominating committee before being put to the popular vote … there should be some kind of limit on the number of candidates

Last year, Lu sent a letter to the South China Morning Post blasting those advocating independence for Hong Kong. He said those who did not recognise themselves as Chinese should renounce their nationality.

Meanwhile, speaking at a question-and-answer session in the Legislative Council, Leung said "increasing capacity" was the way forward for local tourism. He also weighed in on the debate about the Sichuan quake relief fund and the plan to rezone a Central berth site from "open space" to "military use" for the People's Liberation Army.

The HK$100 million fund was endorsed in Legco last week, despite pan-democrats' efforts to block it, citing fears of mainland corruption. Leung said: "We must not ignore the mainland's progress … otherwise it would be unfair for the majority of diligent and people-oriented mainland officials, and wouldn't help maintaining our relationship with the mainland."

On the Central berth, he said the PLA had agreed it would be opened for public recreation when not in use "out of goodwill" to Hongkongers.

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This article is now closed to comments

Healthily Cynical
"According to the Basic Law, there is no question that chief executive candidates in Hong Kong should go through a nominating committee before being put to the popular vote"
The law may state that there is no democracy, but that doesn't mean the people have to agree with that law and should not lobby for a change to the constituion to include full and unrestricted democracy.
As for being opposed to people protesting because "Blocking traffic would undermine investor confidence and hurt the city's competitiveness", well the evidence from the US, UK, Europe and Australia would suggest that is not true - it is possible for a population protest / demonstrate and for an economy to maintain confidence and competitiveness.
Byebye
"Blocking traffic would undermine investor confidence and hurt the city's competitiveness," he (Mr Lu Ping) said ~ I don't think so, although it may cause inconvenience to road users and may disrupt some businesses. More likely, corruption, cronyism, abuse of power, lack of transparency, lack of solid law and order etc etc... may undermine or impact investors confidence.......
hard times !
Lu Ping might be too old to comment on our upcoming civil-disobedience,the 'Occupy Central' movement which is just a peaceful gathering around the MTR Central station which might block some traffic flow and won't hurt foreign investors' confidence nor hurt our competitiveness too.Lu Ping is just too old and his mind-set remains in the eighties of last century ! What a pity ! Wish him enjoy his retirement and distance himself from local affairs which only affect Hongkongers and their future generations ! Right ?
xiaoblueleaf
Sounds wise, moderate and reasonable!
hard times !
Lu Ping is really too old to not shut up and enjoys his retirement days either in Shenzhen or elsewhere but never in Hong Kong where he had once described our last Governor,Mr.Chris Patten as a 'criminal for ages' ! Instead,Mr.Patten was a popular governor in his tenure (1992-1997) here.His portraits of drinking herbal tea or enjoying his favourite egg tarts are still hung in shops in Wanchai and Sheung Wan where he frequented in his days here.Most Hong Kong people still miss him and his rule---an open and democratic government---allowing much more people to take part in the Legco election by enlarging the qualified voters in every constituency of the Legco election---a nice form of democracy and his close contacts with his people(though colonial subjects) were remembered.I still keep some books written by him who is both eloquent in public speeches and writings ! The three leaders after him,though being native Chinese,their qualities in governance have been proven far worse than this last governor of Hong Kong ! Right ?
lucifer
Just when i thought thisacient dunce was going to say something logical from (his home in the USA), he does not disappoint with some pur Party rubbish. Point out that the basic LKaw is part fo the PRC constitution, which the PRC government does not even respect, means what?
lucifer
You are already starting to see that in China...once the mainland money machine stops majically producing money at the party's behest and actually has to respond to market conditions, investors will choose to invest where there is less risk...,
johnwe
Fair comments from an old friend of Hong Kong with nothing to gain. One insulting and discriminatory response was Lu Ping is too old to speak about HK affairs;.By the same measure, we could say the respondent is too stupid to comment on HK affairs.
No one believes Occupy Hongkong will be a peaceful gathering around the MTR, last of all the organizers who want the action to be severely felt. Don't expect sympathy or empathy. It is going outrage and annoyance with the group and the pretext of democracy to get the limelight and make political capital.
The radical democrats have shown time and again that they cant be trusted to behave reasonably; their comments and actions are so weighted with resentment, bitterness and groundless witch hunt and suspicion that comments such as 'Hongkongers can be trusted to do ......(the right thing)" coming from Rouse and Mrs Chan Fang are laughable because that is exactly what they are not and cannot be trusted to do.

We are cursed to have them as legislators as they and their acolytes are the source of a constant feeling of seething unrest, resentment and discontent in this community.
Our former Chief Secretary reinvented herself to be mediator between the radicals and reason - the worst of all the bad choices of roles because she showed in office that her innate inclination is one-sided 'reason' and she continues to talk and write with a forked tongue.
Chameleon? Trojan Horse? At the least China has been alerted to be wary.
RMY
Waiving the colonial flag is really disgraceful. The person who did that didn't use basic wit. As if waving the colonial flag will achieve anything at all. It is plain stupidity. It is like slapping your own with a hammer, not a gentle hand. This is sad.
likingming
China should help HK to increase HK's land resources for the mutual benefits of both sides
1.) to solve HK housing problems
2.) to increase HK tourism industry capacity
3.) to show friendly gesture
alyosha
Someone should beware of his last few years of his life which is coming very soon. Because of the evil deed done, he is very likely to face a painful and prolonged dead.

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