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Baby formula

Baby, or infant, formula is a manufactured food for babies often used as a substitute for breast milk. It is a powder or liquid concentrate that is mixed with water and fed through a bottle. It is widely used in Asia, which represents 53% of the global market share. In Hong Kong, a shortage in availability of baby formula led to restrictions on how much could be taken out of the city and into mainland China.

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POLITICS

Beijing hints at displeasure over Hong Kong's handling of baby formula issue

Top mainland official urges lawmakers to be more sensitive to needs of their neighbours

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 25 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 25 September, 2013, 3:57am

A top mainland official in charge of Hong Kong affairs yesterday urged the city's political appointees to improve their sensitivity when it comes to policies which have an impact on the mainland.

Citing the controversy over the limit on mainlanders taking baby milk formula across the border, Wang Guangya, director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, said there was a need to explain clearly to mainland cities and provinces the impact of Hong Kong's policies.

His message was quoted by Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Raymond Tam Chi-yuen after a closed-door meeting with a delegation of 16 undersecretaries and political assistants in Beijing yesterday.

It is unacceptable for Wang to intervene in the city's internal policy
LAWMAKER CLAUDIA MO

The group began a five-day trip taking classes at the Chinese Academy of Governance.

"He said the central government would continue to support Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and the SAR government to govern in accordance with the law. He also expects all the undersecretaries and political assistants [to] have the morality to support the chief executive and the government," said Tam.

Wang also expected all colleagues to be politically sensitive in relation to universal suffrage and policies that will have an impact on the city's co-operation with the mainland, said Tam.

"When policies are [enacted], it is equally important to communicate them [to] citizens and local governments on the mainland," Wang was quoted as saying.

Veteran commentator Johnny Lau Yui-siu said mainland officials believed Hong Kong lacked political talent and the message was directed at the undersecretaries and political assistants, and those above them.

Wang's mention of the baby milk formula controversy reflected Beijing's disappointment over how Hong Kong had handled an issue that affected the lives of mainlanders.

But Civic Party lawmaker Claudia Mo Man-ching said Wang's "completely illogical and inappropriate" remarks were intended to put pressure on limits placed on infant formula.

"The political appointees are paid by Hong Kong taxpayers' money - they should take care of Hongkongers' interests first instead of mainlanders'," said Mo. "It is unacceptable for Wang to intervene in the city's internal policy."

 

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This article is now closed to comments

321manu
Nothing wrong with supply/demand, in principle. But I think the fear is that the demand will be artificially raised because of mainlanders like from Guangzhou coming in and clearing the shelves of the stuff, leaving none for HK parents. And it wouldn't surprise me if some of those mainlanders were childless, who go home and re-sell the stuff for a profit.
As it is now, there is a limit of how many cans you can bring back to the mainland. I suppose if someone was really motivated, they'd just make multiple trips.
ssslmcs01
Claudia Mo hit the nail right on the head. When Hong Kong people comment on injustices in China they tell us to bud out. And as has been mentioned they should be solving their own problems. Buying infant milk formula in Hong Kong isn't solving a problem, on the contrary it is a slap in the face to China's food safety.
"Wang also expected all colleagues to be politically sensitive in relation to universal suffrage and policies that will have an impact on the city's co-operation with the mainland, said Tam.
"When policies are [enacted], it is equally important to communicate them [to] citizens and local governments on the mainland," Wang was quoted as saying."
Why?
They should be looking after their own problems at home and stop worrying about and interfering in Hong Kong's affairs.
HK-Lover
Mr. Wang, you better turn to your very own superiors and ask them to get China's (mainland) own act together and eliminate all the corruption in China that led to the mill powder disaster in China making your compatriots turning to HK to buy milk powder because they couldn't trust you compatriot's milk powder anymore.
321manu
""It is unacceptable for Wang to intervene in the city's internal policy.""
---that is beautiful.
"Wang's mention of the baby milk formula controversy reflected Beijing's disappointment over how Hong Kong had handled an issue that affected the lives of mainlanders."
---I wonder if Wang and/or Beijing are disappointed over how the CCP has handled this issue that affected the lives of mainlanders. And I guess this is what they mean by "two systems": one that allows producers of milk powder to poison infants, and one that doesn't.
anson
Is there not a need for Mr. Wang to explain why so many parents on the mainland do not trust milk formula purchased there? People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.
blue
He really doesn't need to comment about this matter.

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