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  • Aug 23, 2014
  • Updated: 5:15am
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POLITICS

More pan-democratic lawmakers may snub invitation to Shanghai

Others set to follow Emily Lau and spurn offer to all 70 lawmakers to visit mainland, despite chance to meet central government officials

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 13 March, 2014, 11:32pm
UPDATED : Friday, 14 March, 2014, 7:33am

Pan-democrats have given a lukewarm response to the central government's approval for all 70 lawmakers to visit Shanghai next month.

Democratic Party chairwoman Emily Lau Wai-hing immediately declined the offer, and at least five lawmakers from the Labour Party and NeoDemocrats have indicated they might also boycott it.

Labour Party lawmaker Lee Cheuk-yan said his party would probably turn down the invitation. The party has four legislators, including Lee.

"Beijing has been taking a strong stance on political reform over the past week. We do not want to create the illusion that we could actually build some consensus with the central government during this trip," he said.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying announced on Wednesday that all lawmakers, including radicals and those who had their home-return permits confiscated, had been invited on the two-day trip. He said it might offer the chance to meet central government officials.

Dr Kenneth Chan Ka-lok of the Civic Party was less dismissive of the offer. He said pan-democrats should send some, but not all, representatives to Shanghai - but only if there was definitely dialogue on reform with officials.

"It would offer us a chance to counter the strong words from top officials during the National People's Congress and Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference meeting," he said.

"This kind of conversation is valuable, though we need not expect too much."

Of the 27 pan-democratic lawmakers, 23 will meet today to discuss the issue.

At the heart of the debate on reform is how to put forward candidates for the election of the chief executive by universal suffrage in 2017. Pan-democrats say the public should be able to nominate them. Beijing says this would violate the Basic Law, Hong Kong's mini-constitution.

Some Beijing loyalists urged the pan-democrats to accept the invitation. Tam Yiu-chung, chairman of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, said doing so would demonstrate seriousness about communicating on political reform.

"It's all about showing mutual respect," Tam said. "If the central government invited you for a meal and you declined and now they welcome you to Shanghai and you decline again, it's useless to talk about other things. [Pan-democrats] should go because there is the chance that we can see mainland officials there."

In January, pan-democrats turned down an invitation for a meal at the central government's liaison office in Western district. Instead, they will have breakfast meetings at the local government's headquarters in Admiralty this month.

Constitutional affairs minister Raymond Tam Chi-yuen said there might be a seminar during the visit at which lawmakers could exchange views on reform directly with central government officials - particularly those in charge of the city's affairs.

"I hope lawmakers will try their best to join," he said.

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18

This article is now closed to comments

johnwe
You wonder why we are paying these people hundreds of thousands a month when everything they do disgusts you.They talk of representing the views of the people but in reality these are psycho cases with ADS and other personal frustrations that they are trying to solve by their intolerable and radical behavior in Hong Kong and in relations with China.
Get wise, like your GRATE LIDER Lee and others, your time will pass and you will leave nothing but scorn about and disgust with your behavior. Who cares?
Look at every single one of these 'leaders' - they are a disgrace - poseurs, imposters and narcissistic performers. Not a day passes without one of them doing something just to annoy and disgust you. You sometimes wish a hole will open in Central and they will all disappear by accident.
They have had such freedom to talk and abuse others and yet are not grateful or aware that they are actually enjoying the freedom they are screaming about. Wow how did this society produce these people?
Talk to the right to nominate your CE, did freedom to nominate you and your like-minded and equally badly behaved brethren produce better members of LEGCO?
HK-Lover
It's a shame and pity to see again and again that the pan-democrats lack greatly the true spirit of democracy which is to find consensus through discussions, allow people to have different opinion, to accept the vote of the majority and to represent the electorate.
Most of the times the pan-democrates in HK have the attitude "my way or no way". Guys, that's not democracy or democratic behaviour, that's just immature childishness . Beijing follows more the democratic spirit than HK's democrats and that is alarming .
Look at world power houses where the opposing parties form a coalition and jointly rule the country e.g. Germany . That's what democratic spirit in its finest - consensus for the better of the people and not stubbornly insisting on principles for your own sake.
People elected you for a better HK and not for you playing games by your own rules .
chuchu59
The Pan-dems say Beijing wont give us universal suffrage but when given the chance to sit down and discuss they forego the opportunity. You guys earn megabucks as legislators courtesy of taxpayers like me. I want my money back.
anthonygmail
You must understand these policticians, they will not do anything that might lessen their chances of winning a renewal to their $70k per month 5-year contract in the next election.
.
It's just a job to most of them. A job where you can skip meetings anytime and watch soft-**** when you do attend the meetings.
daily
Sometimes, I wish these Pan-Democrat clowns would just leave the HK political scene because they are here just to get as much limelight as they can get for any idiotic moves that they do...........If it's not enough that there is that fat dwarf Albert Ho we have to put up with, now there's Emily Lau putting on an arrogant show of stupidity by declining the invitation............These people should not even be in politics. They belong in the street markets selling vegetables and pork chops.
allan94
hk is doomed! with an incompetent govt and so-called clowns like emily lau and albert "watching **** during legco" ho seemingly fighting for democracy.
the farce has stretched for 20 years .
time to emigrate to malaysia, the govt there is just as stupid , but at least it is cheaper to live. here in hk, we have to endure stupid leaders and greedy tycoons who destroy any quality of life.
sjfore
What's depressing here is the short-term thinking. Taking the trip costs the PDs nothing, except in the eyes of the People Power goofballs. If they go to Shanghai, they are likely to be received rather frostily (perhaps even in a usefully newsworthy way), and down the road, when Beijing inevitably continues to be a jerk, they'll have the moral high ground:
ton1998
Give long hair and no hair a job in Stanley , they are clowns , Hong Kong don't need this kind of people.
mercedes2233
How about not eating Chinese veggies, not drink Chinese water, not use Chinese goods, in HK too?
raglan
Pan Dems, f**k you, here's a chance to communicate and build trust with the Mainland authorities, but you're sticking with outdated dogma and being complete a**es. I use to support you but now I have nothing but comtempt for you clowns, you provide NO, ABSOLUTELY NO VALUE to Hong Kong, I suggest you rid yourselves from this world, but don't throw yourselves in front of buses or jump off buildings as that would impede traffic; you're worthless and stop taking up our space...., POS fools......

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