'Beijing's opponents cannot become chief executive', says Li Fei

Li Fei, chairman of the Basic Law Committee, reiterates that chief executive candidates must back one-party system

PUBLISHED : Friday, 22 November, 2013, 1:19pm
UPDATED : Friday, 22 November, 2013, 3:47pm

People opposed to the central government cannot become the chief executive, a Beijing official reiterated in Hong Kong on Friday.

Li Fei, chairman of the Basic Law Committee, made the remarks as he addressed about 100 guests at a luncheon at Government House.

“The chief executive is accountable to the central government as well as the Hong Kong SAR, this means that the post must be taken up by a person who loves the country as well as Hong Kong – anyone opposed to the central government cannot [take up the top job],” Li said.

He warned that having a person opposed to the central government leading the city could deal a serious blow to the relationship between Beijing and the city, as well as Hong Kong’s stability.

Li’s predecessor Qiao Xiaoyang made similar comments in March, sparking worries among pan-democrats that Beijing was hinting that pro-democracy candidates could be ousted during the nominating process.

Pan-democrats have been advocating public nomination to alleviate worries about screening.

Li did not mention the pan-democrats’ idea in his speech, but he suggested that candidates should be put forward by a nomination committee to ensure “balanced participation”.

“So that all social classes and sectors have a say in the nomination process,” he said. “This could overcome possible discrepancies of other nominating methods.”