• Sun
  • Dec 21, 2014
  • Updated: 1:59pm
NewsHong Kong
POLITICS

Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor warns Hongkongers not to provoke Beijing

Chief secretary says 'extreme' acts such as the PLA barracks protest will only hinder Hong Kong's ongoing political reform efforts

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 05 January, 2014, 5:20am
UPDATED : Sunday, 05 January, 2014, 10:05am
 

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  • Yes: 63%
  • No: 37%
5 Jan 2014
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Total number of votes recorded: 207

Any provocative moves to annoy Beijing will only hinder Hong Kong's political reform push, the chief secretary warned yesterday.

Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor made the remarks in response to a break-in at the People's Liberation Army barracks in Admiralty last month by activists.

The Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office earlier expressed "grave concern" over the incident, saying the group of activists had disregarded the law when they forced their way into the barracks on December 26, and should be punished.

"These rather extreme and almost provocative acts are undesirable for our work on political reform," Lam told Commercial Radio's Saturday Forum yesterday. "Someone even uploaded a video [of the break-in] to the internet just after it happened; that just stirs up resentment."

She added that the PLA had adhered to the Basic Law in carrying out its duties, and any political debate in the city was nothing to do with the military.

"This sort of provocative move will only result in needless conflict in our community," Lam said.

Reiterating the importance of trust if a consensus was to be reached on electoral reform, Lam called on radicals not to carry out acts that were likely to irritate the central leadership and hinder the city's relationship with Beijing.

Hours after Lam's remarks, activist Lui Yuk-lin protested outside the Central PLA barracks. Police asked her to leave and the army closed the gate to the barracks for a while.

Four pro-independence activists were arrested and a fifth is being investigated for trespassing on the PLA base during the protest against the conversion of a prime harbourfront spot into a military berth.

Separately, Liberal Party leader James Tien Pei-chun criticised Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying as "narrow-minded", accusing him of banning his ministers from attending the Beijing-loyalist party's 20th anniversary dinner last month. Only several undersecretaries showed up for the dinner on December 16.

Tien suggested this could have been an effort to punish the party after it joined forces with the pan-democrats to back the ill-fated motion for an investigation into the government's free-to-air TV licensing decision.

"But it's impossible for the Liberal Party to accept every policy put forward by the government … our lawmakers' power comes from the voters, not the government," he told TVB.

Although the Liberal Party put pressure on the government over the TV licensing row, Tien said that it had not affected the party's relationship with Beijing. He added that the party was yet to hear from Beijing on the matter.

But Lam dismissed Tien's claims, saying the government treated all parties equally. She added that she could not attend the dinner because she was not in Hong Kong at the time.

Meanwhile, in an unrelated incident, a 49-year-old man arrested on Friday for trespassing at the PLA headquarters in Admiralty has been granted bail.

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No excuse for barracks protest
5 Jan 2014 - 5:11am

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This article is now closed to comments

caractacus
Only by standing up and demanding honest government and free and fair elections will people ever get any fairness from this government
HK's rotten ruling elite should be made to quake in its boots. That's the only way to make them respect the people.
caractacus
So it's "do as you are told or you won't get what the Basic Law promises."
Given HK's history since 1997 of sliding into corruption at the very top, ever greater administrative incompetence and rampant collusion with developers while Beijing stands by and tolerates this state of affairs, how can the CCP be trusted to act in the interests of the people?
sam.gillespie.184
US ambassador Gary Locke said that he visited Hong Kong in 1988 (before the handover, till under English colonial rule), he was astounded by the poverty and debilitating state of Hong Kong society, and now in 2013 (when Hong Kong is part of China) he marveled at Hong Kong transformation into a modern world class city.
caractacus, if you don't like the way Hong Kong is run, you should leave.
Byebye
I do not agree with these people breaking into the PLA barracks, neither do I agree to what the Chief Secretary said. The situation might be the result of some hot blooded people trying to show their lack of trust in their situation, perhaps in the ways things are progressing or the uncertainties arose out of lack of assurance of HK future from the authorities, be it China or SAR. Lets remember we are still under one country two systems.
village2206
Ms Lam was appointed by the Beijing Authorities to assist in operating what was once a fairly steady foreign occupied colony. What ever anyone says in these columns, the simple fact is that this place belongs to Beijing and their party rules apply -- under Basic Law if you will. Whatever they decide is final-- whether we like it or not. We can scream and fuss as much as we like-- and we do seem to do that in what is generally a peaceful way. Unfortunately there are those amongst us that always go "over the top", both in public and within the local constitutional framework made up mainly of fat cats or those that cannot resist the opportunity for a good monthly salary thinly disguised as being pro active for the sake of the community. So Ms Lam's cautionary warning does come from the horses mouth and what ever you may wish to see it as... you have to read it as the party speaking. Do what you like-- say what you like- have your fun-- they will have the last laugh. If you look around the world you can see that subtle creep is the party formula-- don't be misled by local insularity. The real problem in HK is the lack of quality political ability-- I reckon Beijing is all too familiar with that major obstacle. The warning is real!
johnh
Can you please explain exactly how four unarmed flag carrying protestors managed to "break into" a military compound? Were those military grade high explosive armor piercing flags they were carrying???
aplucky1
thanks carrie, we will take your advice
NOT
johnfra
You said she is here to serve Beijing. You are wrong, she is here to serve herself, like all civil servants. Bend with the ones in authority, do as little as possible so as to make as few mistakes as possible, and retire with the proverbial golden egg.
caractacus
A trespass by 5 immature kids is not a provocation. What should HK people do then? Appease Beijing?
Would it be provocation if we do not stand by and never protest or complain about the corruption pervading the top levels of HK's Government?
Tyrants never respect the law or the law abiding.
ejmciii
Interesting view of the basic law and the agreements made that led to the handover. Well, at least the PRC ministry of propaganda's views. Thank you for the public service, comrade.

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