• Wed
  • Dec 24, 2014
  • Updated: 9:10am
NewsHong Kong

Hong Kong democracy should meet people’s aspirations, says British Foreign Secretary William Hague

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 11 February, 2014, 7:17pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 February, 2014, 3:29am
 

There is no perfect model for universal suffrage; what is important is that Hongkongers have a genuine choice, the British government has said in its six-monthly report to its lawmakers on affairs in the former colony.

In his 21-page report to parliament, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said the Hong Kong government's five-month consultation on political reform shows a "clear commitment" to introducing universal suffrage for the 2017 chief executive election.

"I welcome…the clear commitment in the consultation document that: the electoral procedures should be 'conducive to maintaining an open, fair and honest electoral system," Hague wrote.

But Democratic Party chairwoman Emily Lau Wai-hing said the report - the 34th such document examining the implementation of the Sino-British Joint Declaration - should have taken a firmer line on the city's pursuit of democracy.

"[The report] should have given a basic definition of universal suffrage instead of repeating the local government's lines and the [related] Beijing decisions," said Lau, a lawmaker. "It is a moral and political responsibility for the UK to stand up for the city's universal suffrage. They are different from other countries - they ruled us for a century and a half."

Lau also pointed out a factual error over a Legislative Council lunch with a top Beijing official. The report said liaison office director Zhang Xiaoming hosted a lunch for Legco members. In fact it was Zhang who visited Legco in July.

"How can the report have mixed up such a simple fact?" Lau said.

Zhang's visit was hailed as a breakthrough in relations between lawmakers and the central government.

But plans for a return lunch last month were shelved as many pan-democratic lawmakers refused to step inside the liaison office, a frequent target for protests against Beijing's interference in local affairs.

 

Share

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 

This article is now closed to comments

williechow
"It is a moral and political responsibility for the UK to stand up for the city's universal suffrage. They are different from other countries - they ruled us for a century and a half." (said) Emily Lau Wai-hing.
Is Emily Lau stupid or what? Did the U.K. care about universal suffrage for Hong Kong during the century and half?
What gall does William Hague have! Commenting on democracy for Hong Kong when the U.K ruled Hong Kong dictatorially for a century and half.

Login

SCMP.com Account

or