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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.

NewsHong Kong
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

doreendorothy@hotmail.com
I cannot comprehend with why Wang has to voice his baseless and senseless disappointment with the way Hong Kong handles the infants formula issue.
Overall, I think HK did a great job in protecting its citizens and the supply/demand of infant formula.
As such, Wang's displeasure literally shows his egoism and instead he should direct his focus on how to better provide the shortage of infant formula in his country rather than intervening in other country's internal policy.
KwunTongBypass
Wang Guangya ya ya ya ga ga ah!
chanaa
I am actually pro beijing, but this must be one of the most stupid statement, coming from a self serving idiot.
He is clueless
nmp_inc
"He also expects all the undersecretaries and political assistants [to] have the morality to support the chief executive and the government" - in other words, Beijing concerned over back snipping, second guessing, and disloyalty... maybe not quite as loud as during Tung's time but the emphasis on 'morality to support' seems a definite swipe at the opportunistic patriotic lots ...
sudo rm -f cy
Wang Guangya himself has an infant granddaugther. Apple Daily ran an article on this today. No wonder he's so passionate about lifting the ban.
donniemcm
I think he will need to go to a lot of countries to tell the same message.
Because obviously Mainlanders are not only pilling HK stocks.
hard times !
Our lawmakers should be more sensitive towards the ill-feelings or feelings of our compatriots on Mainland ? How ridiculous it sounds ! If there are any good governance done by this Leung administration,the limit of only two-can of baby formula milk powder brought across the border is definitely one of the few good policies carried out by our government.If imported foreign milk powder is so welcomed and wanted by Mainland babies, why the Mainland government doesn't allow the milk powder to be imported free of tax as Hong Kong used to do ? Once there are sufficient supply of foreign milk powder and the produciton of Mainland milk powder can satisfy the needs or requriements of their bablies,the two-can limit of baby formula can be lifted since no such polciy is needed any more !
cfj
There is no trust of mainland suppliers in the market place, so there will be a loud cry for help from state-owned-enterprises if foreign-based milk products were allowed to enter freely. That's the whole problem - the import taxes are set to protect the home suppliers of milk in China no matter the quality or safety.
Remember the children who suffered a few years ago, are things much better now ? Once confidence is lost through malpractices, it may never be recovered - short-sighted indeed. HK is just unfortunate to be caught in the cross-fire between mainland interests. Under such circumstances, the government was right to take action at the border - IMHO.
chuchu59
I dont know what Wang is trying to point out. Its not the sensitivities of the average mainlander in China. If they were to care, they would liaise with baby powder suppliers to boost supply for sale on the mainland. I cannot find fault with CY's policy in this respect as it was obviously aimed at allowing Hong Kong parents to buy baby milk powder for their children at reasonable prices. When its a choice between Hong Kong parents and mainlander parents tough decisions had to be made and I believe CY had done the right thing. Actually, why is Wang pinpointing lawmakers? As long as they have the full support of the Hong Kong public in devising policies isnt that good enough? Asking lawmakers to be more concerned on the sensitivities of our mainland counterparts may turn out to be counter-productive.
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.
mymak
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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