• Wed
  • Nov 19, 2014
  • Updated: 8:58pm
NewsHong Kong

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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John Adams
Just HOW stupid can the pan - dems get ?
Will they next decide they want HK to become a floating island and tow it out to sea somewhere miles from the Mainland ? .
Can't they understand that we are irrevocably a part of the Mainland , whether they ( or we ) like it or not ?
And why are they so scared of the Mainland ? At least half if not more of HK's working population depend on the Mainland for their jobs in trade, manufacturing or logistics - me included who has been travelling every week for 30 years to China with never anything to fear, not even in the weeks immediately post June 4th .
Indeed I love going to the Mainland and I love working with Mainland people !
As far as I am concerned the pan-dems lost my respect years ago. I once voted for them in the days when they had some sensible members like Martin Lee. But these days they have nothing but idiots ( or soft- p o r n - ophiles ) as members.
Certainly they have no brains or coherent policies : just very big mouths which they only open to change feet .
Expected. Their political clouts build on an anti-China platform without which they have nothing.
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.
I have to agree. It's impossible to respect most pan-dems. I still want to see these idiots on the CE election ballot for the sake of legitimacy. Ideally one of the more moderate ones, though honestly I don't think a radical on the ballot would do much harm. Radicals rarely can win such elections.
Give long hair and no hair a job in Stanley , they are clowns , Hong Kong don't need this kind of people.
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......
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.
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.
How about not eating Chinese veggies, not drink Chinese water, not use Chinese goods, in HK too?
Well said and I really hope the Pan Democrat bunch of fools can see your message and take it to heart.



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