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  • Dec 25, 2014
  • Updated: 5:10am
Occupy Central
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Rita Fan: Beijing won't be forced into universal suffrage

Loyalist Rita Fan warns against Occupy protest after Benny Tai argues democracy can work

PUBLISHED : Monday, 08 July, 2013, 8:12pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 09 July, 2013, 4:23pm
 

The central leadership would not allow itself to be forced into introducing universal suffrage that met international standards, a Hong Kong member of the nation's top legislature has warned.

And the Occupy Central civil disobedience action would only end up being an act of "self-mutilation" on the city, said Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai, a member of the National People's Congress Standing Committee.

Fan's words came on the heels of a speech by Benny Tai Yiu-ting, one of Occupy Central's core organisers, at the same secondary school in Ma Tau Wai.

Tai was on his first visit to schools to talk about the movement for democracy.

"Today, Beijing is full of confidence and is determined to walk its own way [politically]," she told about 400 pupils yesterday.

"I cannot see Beijing accepting the western style of democracy, or universal core values, and deeming it suitable to be applied to any place in China."

She also said a recent proposal for the 2017 chief executive election - which suggests an aspiring candidate who clinches the support of 100,000 voters can contest under universal suffrage - could hardly be in line with the Basic Law and the NPC stance.

Fan issued the warning in the afternoon at Heep Yunn School in Ma Tau Wai, hours after Tai, a University of Hong Kong law professor, spoke at the school.

Tai initiated the idea to gather 10,000 protesters to jam roads in Central by July next year as a last resort in the drive for democracy. Ahead of his speech, pro-establishment group Voice of Loving Hong Kong distributed leaflets outside the school against Tai promoting the civil disobedience campaign to pupils.

Fan said the stakes were not high enough to force a change of stance in the central leadership and described the Occupy campaign as "self-mutilation". "Occupy Central - as a threat - is not the appropriate way," she said.

Tai said he believed state leaders were sincere about allowing universal suffrage in the city.

"There is room for a universal suffrage proposal to meet both the requirements of the Basic Law and international standards," he told about 500 pupils.

The movement would not accept pupils aged below 18 to join acts of civil disobedience, he said, but they could take part in "deliberation days" to discuss Occupy Central or as volunteers. After the speeches, some pupils expressed support for the campaign but none pledged to join.

Secretary for Education Eddie Ng Hak-kim, when asked about Tai's appearance at Heep Yunn, said his bureau "especially reminded schools again" not to take any initiative in arranging potentially illegal activities.

The school stated its political neutrality, saying both speeches were organised as part of liberal studies.

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This article is now closed to comments

rpasea
I for one have had enough of this self appointed Rita Fan. She speaks for no one but herself and I wish she would just move to Beijing since she loves the party leadership so much. The ultimate shoe shiner.
wwong888
rita fan started her career working to support the colonial govn't in hk... then she transitioned to working for the triad albert yeung.... now she works for the communist party... she is just a wh-re with absolutely no values of her own... and a pretty ugly wh-re i might add
impala
Well done Heep Yunn School for organising an event where students can hear both sides of the story and decide for themselves. That is already a lot more than most of our media, 'think tanks' and political organisations seem capable of.
sontan0917
rita fan has no rights to warn and no rights to interfere in people's rights of freedom. she should read the basic laws properly which includes universal suffrage
blue
Rita Fan's comments are honestly just as provocative and unhelpful as the Occupy Central movement itself. It is such a vicious cycle. I truly wish both sides would have a real dialog about political reform.
aplucky1
oh shut up rita , you worthless cow
where were you when the striking workers needed your help
tennisboy
Beijing will not be swayed to change their stance on universal suffrage just because some people decide to occupy Central. She's just telling it as is. There's nothing wrong with that.
daily
Hehe...........sounds like everyone wants Rita Fan to shut up...........totally agree............can someone pass this message to her?

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