• Thu
  • Nov 27, 2014
  • Updated: 11:49pm
NewsHong Kong
POLITICS

Leader's duty reports must be 'warts and all,' says top official Wang Guangya

Official in charge of city's affairs says Beijing visits must be more hard-nosed; he slams the door on public nomination for chief executive

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 19 December, 2013, 11:39pm
UPDATED : Friday, 20 December, 2013, 7:22am
 

Hong Kong leaders will be required to present a "warts and all'' report on the job they are doing during future duty visits to Beijing, a top mainland official in charge of the city's affairs said yesterday.

Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office director Wang Guangya made the call as he slammed the door firmly shut on the public being allowed to nominate candidates for chief executive as the SAR enters a key period of political reform.

Wang - who said such a move would contradict the city's mini-constitution - is the first mainland official to declare public nomination a non-starter since the city embarked on a five- month-long period of public consultation on democratic development earlier this month.

His requirement for a more candid and detailed duty visit report is being seen as a move to make the visits less of a ritual courtesy call and more a practical and hard-nosed look at how the city is being run. Wang, however, did acknowledge Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying's hard work over the past year, adding that popularity was not the most important factor when evaluating performance.

Leung, who ended his three-day duty visit yesterday with calls on ministries in Beijing, denied he had only reported good news to the leaders.

"We have thoroughly and objectively reported the city's situation [to Beijing]," said Leung. He did not reveal what shortcomings were addressed.

Wang made his remarks yesterday after Leung and three ministers - commerce chief Greg So Kam-leung, financial services chief Professor Chan Ka-keung and housing chief Anthony Cheung Bing-leung - met him in the capital.

"In the past, [Hong Kong and Macau chief executives] might mostly report on what they have achieved in the last year, but now we also require them to search out the shortcomings," he said.

On political reform, Wang said allowing the public to nominate chief executive hopefuls was "definitely rather far away from [the framework of] Basic Law", adding that only through mutual respect and communication would Hongkongers be able to forge a consensus on the reform. He described the Occupy Central movement as an attempt to "destroy the rule of law''.

When asked if he was satisfied with the performance of Leung, Wang said: "Popularity ratings fluctuate every day - just like stocks. We have to see if the policies [put forward by Leung] have met the people's needs … To the central government, Leung has been making lots of effort over the past year."

Separately, Leung called on the Ministry of Finance and the National Development and Reform Commission yesterday with Chan and Cheung respectively. He said the government would file a proposal to the commission regarding China's 13th five-year plan starting from 2016.

Former Central Policy Unit head Professor Lau Siu-kai, who first revealed Beijing's plan to "standardise" annual duty visits, believed the new rules would encourage the local government to be more dedicated to its duties.

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This article is now closed to comments

impala
The Basic Law is crystal clear that HK will have a high degree of autonomy, and administer its affairs on its own, except in the area of foreign affairs and defence. Mr Wang's comments here relate to neither and are thus, yes, interference in 'domestic' HK affairs that the Central Government has no right to meddle with.
whoaman
But in the real (Communist) world, China owns Hong Kong, and invokes the Basic Law when it is in their interests, and of course there will always be interference. It's like a mother with a grown up son in some ways - always a degree of influence there.
impala
The only thing unconstitutional here, is Mr Wang's blatant interference in Hong Kong's affairs based on a groundless (personal?) interpretation of our laws.
HK-Lover
And what is the difference between "one country, two systems" and "two systems, one country" ?
HK-Lover
Why are the mainland officials always talk about a MINI constitution ? I can't find any definition of the difference between a constitution and a mini constitution !
How much value do Mr. Wang's assumption have ? A hard core communist talking about democracy and universal suffrage - that's in itself is already a contradiction to the highest order.
KwunTongBypass
The "City of Lights", "Asia's World City" etc. etc. on its way to become a provincial town somewhere in the South of a big country called China.
williechow
As Hong Kong is part of China, is it even possible for a Chinese official to "interfere" in Hong Kong affairs? Aren't Hong Kong affairs also China's affairs?
Remember, it is "one country, two systems." and not "two systems, one country."
MingBaakMei
I read this as a damning verdict on the veracity of CY and his inability to present the truth. Not only to Beijing as the representative of the HK people, but also what he has been told to tell the HK people by Beijing!!
They are upset not so much by his refusal to tell a true picture of HK, but more by his refusal to relay to HK what they see as the future for HK. They have lost faith in him and I believe this to be CY's final warning from Beijing.
austinjosa
I think Mr Wang may be surprised about the implications for his new reporting requirement if we are indeed to have `universal suffrage' for CE.
The future CE will not be able to travel to Beijing for a duty visit and submit a secret report, whether in the form of a self-criticism or not. He/she will be duty bound to also release this report to the electorate, the people of HK.
That is to say, Beijing will no longer be the sole judge of the report, nor able to solely define the nature or scope of the report. Own goal.
chuchu59
Though made possibly for local consumption it is heartening to hear that Beijing has told CY to present the full picture and not just false rosy picture on the happenings in HK. This seems to indicate they do not totally trust the CY administration. There are protests all over the place but I think he tells Beijing everything is fine and dandy. They are fed up with having to instruct the LO to interfere every time the administration goofs up. CY should learn this term from the Americans: SNAFU which means 'Situation Normal, All Fxxxed UP. Simply, everything that the current administration gets involved in, it becomes a disaster though I must say they handled thehousing problem quite well and helped to keep a lid on the runaway prices. Maybe CY should be posted as CE for Housing instead.

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