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  • Dec 28, 2014
  • Updated: 9:11am
NewsHong Kong

Hongkongers 'will elect Beijing-friendly leader', says Henry Tang

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 26 November, 2013, 4:44am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 26 November, 2013, 7:05am

Beijing's requirement for the city's chief executive to "love the country and Hong Kong" may not be in the Basic Law mini-constitution but Henry Tang Ying-yen believes voters will be wise enough to elect a patriot anyway.

"Although these words are not … used in the Basic Law, I am confident that Hong Kong voters will have the will to implement universal suffrage as well as the intelligence to elect someone who will work with Hong Kong and the central people's government," the former chief secretary and failed chief executive candidate said yesterday.

Tang's remarks came after Basic Law Committee chairman Li Fei reiterated Beijing's oft-repeated stance on the issue during a three-day visit to the city that ended on Saturday.

Tang, a member of the standing committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, asked: "What will happen to Hong Kong's future if the chief executive antagonises the central government?"

He said another concept reiterated by Li - that the future nominating committee "as a whole" should put forward chief executive candidates - was nothing new.

Tang noted that the idea, seen as a process that could screen out candidates not favoured by Beijing, was raised in 2007 by Qiao Xiaoyang, now chairman of the National People's Congress Law Committee.

Meanwhile, an article in yesterday's overseas edition of People's Daily quoted a Peking University professor as claiming that the United States was "interfering in Hong Kong's affairs".

Yin Hongbiao, of Peking University's school of international relations, condemned a report by the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission which said the city "had a bleak prospect for universal suffrage".

"A certain extent of instability in Hong Kong is beneficial to the US from the international relations perspective … it can be used as a bargaining chip for the US to act against China," Yin was quoted as saying.

The article said it was "against the rule of law" to introduce political demands into the discussion of universal suffrage or to interfere in local affairs from abroad.



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This article is now closed to comments

henry tang and his wavy, wiggly, sprinkly fingers!!!
hello there sister
henry tang and his wavy, wiggly, sprinkly fingers!!!
mercury is rising!!! HAHA
When is the trial Henry?
Neither of these people have any credibility whatsoever. Sorry SCMP but this story was a waste of paper/bandwidth.
Yeah, that's the "Democracy" which Hong Kong people deserve and can expect. "We decide for you whom you can elect". True political freedom it is. Cool!
Did Li really say that the nominating committee will nominate CE candidates "as a whole" rather than using the previous nomination threshold in 2012? If so, that is totally unacceptable and pretty much analogous to the kind of democracy practiced in Iran. It does not meet international standards and has no legitimacy. It will be very hard for a pan-democrat to be nominated with such a committee and as a result the pan-dems are going to veto it.

Beijing better be prepared to offer a more realistic option. If the nomination has to be done "as a whole" then the nomination committee must have more democratic procedures than the 2012 one. Ideally it should have a large block of directly elected district councilors, and lawmakers. Business and industrial sectors can be in the committee too, though the general public must have strong representation via district councilors and lawmakers to ensure a pan-dem can be nominated. Otherwise Beijing better be prepared for people raging over this on the streets and losing huge amounts of face internationally.

If the democratic reforms fail to pass, HK will be ungovernable. People will be absolutely furious and I can't blame them.


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