• Tue
  • Sep 23, 2014
  • Updated: 3:59pm
NewsHong Kong
DIPLOMACY

Beijing warns US to stay out of Hong Kong politics

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 28 August, 2013, 7:09pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 August, 2013, 11:36am
 

Beijing's top diplomat in Hong Kong has warned the American consul general to steer clear of the debate on the city's constitutional development.

Song Zhe, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' commissioner in Hong Kong, spoke out after the United States consul general Clifford Hart said he was looking forward to Hongkongers' move towards "genuine democratic suffrage". Hart made the remark just a day after he took up the post on July 30.

[We] look forward to Hong Kong's continued progress toward genuine universal suffrage … in accordance with the Basic Law … and the aspirations of the Hong Kong people
US consulate spokesman

A spokesman for the US consulate responded that the United States' long-standing policy towards Hong Kong was unchanged. Echoing Hart's words, he added: "[We] look forward to Hong Kong's continued progress toward genuine universal suffrage … in accordance with the Basic Law … and the aspirations of the Hong Kong people."

Song's office reported that the commissioner met Hart on Tuesday and briefed him on "the successful implementation of the 'one country, two systems' policy in Hong Kong and stated the central government's position on relevant issues".

The report added: "Song emphasised that the development of Hong Kong's political system is its own internal affairs. Foreign governments and officials should not interfere.

"The Chinese side is firmly against interference in Hong Kong's affairs by any outside forces in regard to the Basic Law and the relevant decisions made by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress.

"[Song] hoped that US representation and personnel in Hong Kong respect 'one country, two systems'."

The report added that they should also "refuse to use any pretext to conduct undue activities and refuse to do anything that would hurt Hong Kong's prosperity and stability and the overall interests of China-US relations".

It was the third such warning directed at US representatives in recent months. On May 16 and again on July 19, a spokesman for Song's office said that no foreign government or official should "make reckless comments about" constitutional development in Hong Kong.

It followed remarks by outgoing US consul general Stephen Young that preparations to engage all parties in discussions on electoral reform should begin as early as possible.

Hart is a Putonghua speaker with 30 years' experience, including five postings in China.

In his arrival statement on July 31, he said he felt honoured to "be here for the next phase of Hong Kong's democratic development and progress towards genuine universal suffrage under the 'one country, two systems' framework".

After a closed-door meeting with executive councillor Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee on August 20, Hart was quoted by Ip as saying that "he hoped that different sectors in Hong Kong can reach consensus on universal suffrage and that people from different backgrounds can run for the election in 2017".

One of Hart's top priorities is expected to be rebuilding trust with Hong Kong following the Edward Snowden saga.

Snowden was allowed to leave Hong Kong despite a Washington request to arrest him on espionage charges.

 

Share

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive
 
 

 

25

This article is now closed to comments

Harold Cameron
The US. Should stay out of every country's politics as they always, without fail, make things worse- Iraq, Afghanistan,Libya, & no doubt before too long, Syria. Their ONLY interest is the interest of themselves & they don't care about anyone else, despite what they say.
Currently they are about to interfere in Syria because of ghastly chemical weapons yet they have nuclear weapons which are far worse- & I have no doubt they would use them again as they have done so previously.
constantine
Agree....us got to stop messing things up and pretending to be the big brother ...they only concern what is the best outcome for their country......
pslhk
Whether it’s infantilism or dementia
the US seems constantly in need
of toilet training
chaz_hen
Finally, something I can read in a short sentence and agree on
superdx
Beijing should stay out of Hong Kong politics
johnh
@jayb, John Adams:
You, or anyone else from China, official or not, are more than welcome to make speeches in the US about human rights & values. That's like the CBA basketball team giving lectures to the NBA Dream Team about how to play basketball. Good luck not getting laughed off the podium.
pseudotriton
you do realize that you can only get so far with that complacent, holier-than-thou attitude, right?
johnh
takes one to know one, eh?
aplucky1
do you all you boneheads actually believe there should be democracy in china?
a similar scale is taking place in india, yea that is working out great, they cannot even build toilets
america is a sinking ship
china will descend into total chaos
johnh
@aplucky1:
"do you all you boneheads actually believe there should be democracy in china?"
- Yes.
"a similar scale is taking place in india, yea that is working out great, they cannot even build toilets"
- This is not India.
"america is a sinking ship"
- No it's not...not even close.
"china will descend into total chaos"
- With the way it's going now, it's only a matter of time.
aplucky1
america is dropping on all fronts of quality of life, proven by statistics
almost 50% of america is getting government assistance
over 33% is ON FOOD STAMPS
these are all time highs and about to get higher when amnesty is approved
if you think this is the foundation for a bright future you can easily get a green card now days
johnh
@aplucky1:
Perhaps you're right, America is just awful. So awful in fact, that Mainland Chinese are applying for US citizenship at record rates. So awful, that CCP officials all want to send their children to study in the US, being driven around in Ferraris and living in luxury homes all in the US, paid for by Chinese taxpayers. So awful, that private home birth hospitals are flourishing for mainland parents wishing to have their children born in the US to gain citizenship. What was I thinking?
jayb
chinese should play it smart...
china ambassador to US should visit black neighborhood of detroit, south central LA, chicago southside then release statement urging US to protect the civil rights of black americans.
then go visit East LA, Tex/Mex border and call for US to protect the human rights of migrant workers and grant illegals green cards..
chaz_hen
And the Chinese ambassador would be free to do so.
He could also go to any university or high school that invited him, without any clearances from the US State Department, to speak on how great the Maoist system is as well. Additionally, the Chinese government can set up as many "Confucius Centers" they want in any school that'll have them under the guise of "teaching Chinese language and culture".
HOWEVER...any time any American diplomat wants to go anywhere in China, there are dozens of bureaucratic hurdles to overcome...select audiences are chosen if the diplomat gives a talk at an institute or university and the topic of "democracy" is totally off limits. "Web chats" have to be cleared by propaganda bureaus both provincial and national and any "American Center" is usually located deep in a university library, not publicized, and has very restricted access for the average Chinese citizen.
And you can imagine the headaches and hoops to be jumped through for the US ambassador to go on a visit to Tibet or Xinjiang!
That's fair isn't it?
John Adams
Good idea !
If the Chinese ambassador to US went around America preaching on civil rights, gun laws, handling of illegal immigrants etc ( or the fact that USA companies covertly and illegally sell stuff to Iraq to make bombs) he would be crucified and the US would force China to recall him.
But the US consul in HK can say whatever he likes.
There's something wrong about all this and it reeks to me of hypocrisy.
.
The problem for the US is that there's now so much hypocrisy there that what would have caused an international scandal 10 years ago can now be treated as an off-the-cuff remark by an incoming US consul to HK.
pseudotriton
Have a Russian diplomat or even a UN official comment on some of the US internal politics, such as their gun control issues, and watch how Americans get their panties in a twist. Americans frequently decry the UN because they consider themselves as being above any external influence. So China is just emulating what the US does. I don't understand why some dimwits here are making a big deal out of it. They really have little understanding of the concept of hypocrisy.
likingming
Under the basic law, foreign affairs do not fall into the scope of internal HK affairs. As such, it may be time to consider to relocate this embassy to Shenzhen.
wwong888
actually we would prefer if you just relocated back to shenzhen you illiterate commie trash
Sifu_628
CCPC has never see HK as an independent administrative region but a foreign-occupied territory where its people are progeny of a defeated community. It cares very little about the welfare of the 6 millions+ ethnic-Chinese or the million+ expatriates living here. Even if HK's entire current-residents were to perish, China can import tens of millions more Chinese from neighboring Guangdong. It can bring HK to its knees by shutting-off the supply of fresh-drinking water or blockade our airport and ports. This is precisely the reason why the CCPC has taken such an intransigent stand against greater democracy for Hong Kong.
One important fact must be stated explicitly: If the people in Hong Kong has nothing more to loose, why not fight on for the hope of a better future regardless of the immediate cost. Even if the PLA enforce martial laws here, our people must not submit to tyranny!
fearonjones
The CPC needs to get used to the new world -- two way dialogue. No-one is interested in long-winded officials who always think they know best. Does the so-called West say that China should not comment on those countries' politics? Tell the Global Times or the People's Daily. What a good idea if we can all stop talking about unimportant stuff like our various forms of governance that us little people should not be concerned with and immerse ourselves instead in things like 'culture' -- food and the like and ethnic dances - and leave our leaders and betters to tell us how we should be governed.
clc2

China will do what China does. It always has. If CCP cadres think that the US government, as opposed to simple exposure to the rest of the world, affects attitudes in HK and China, generally, then they've lost their minds. China is huge and largely focused on itself (as if the U.S., another navel gazer)
When China blows beneath the CCP. it will make Thera in 1500BC look like a firecracker in comparison.
ianson
The Communist Party's position is so pathetic it can't even withstand innocuous comments of this sort. Laughable, really.
Dai Muff
I think Beijing should stop interfering in Hong Kong's internal affairs. One country, two systems, remember?
hkhk
Crying foul all the time is a great way to look weak.
chaz_hen
Hey, be careful...you'll "hurt the feelings of the Chinese people."
 
 
 
 
 

Login

SCMP.com Account

or