Pro-Beijing lawmakers boost pan-democrat demand for exclusive Shanghai meeting

Central government says it has not closed door on request

PUBLISHED : Monday, 31 March, 2014, 4:26pm
UPDATED : Monday, 31 March, 2014, 4:26pm


Some pro-establishment lawmakers plan to stay away from the central government officials’ meeting with legislators in Shanghai this month to help ensure pan-democrats are granted an exclusive sought-after meeting with authorities.

The move was first mentioned by pan-democratic lawmaker Frederick Fung Kin-kee and later confirmed by Beijing-loyalist Wong Kwok-kin today.

It comes as pan-democrats are still pondering whether to take part in the unprecedented Shanghai visit later this month April 11, as their demand to have an exclusive meeting on reform with Beijing officials is yet to be confirmed.

Fung quoted the President of Legislative Council Jasper Tsang Yok-sing today saying no central government officials had so far shut the door on pan-democrats’ request. “While pro-establishment camp also hopes an exclusive meeting could be arranged for pan-democrats, he [Tsang] heard that some pro-Beijing lawmakers are willing to stay away and let pan-democrats have an [exclusive] dialogue with the officials,” Fung told RTHK.

Meanwhile, Fung also said he would join the trip to Shanghai. “I hope via this trip, central government officials would not simply judge the situation of Hong Kong merely by the opinions from one side,” Fung said.

A half-day session has been set aside for lawmakers to meet with State Council’s Hong Kong and Macao Office director Wang Guangya, Basic Law Committee chairman Li Fei and central government liaison office director Zhang Xiaoming during their two-day visit in Shanghai.

“We are only the supporting roles in this trip,” said lawmaker Wong who believed most of his allies in the pro-establishment camp would be willing to stay away if no exclusive meeting was arranged for pan-democrats.

“The pro-establishment camp has lots of channels to reflect their views to central government anyway. We really hope – and would be very glad – to see pan-democrats finally start a rational discussion with Beijing officials on reform,” said the Federations of Trade Unions lawmaker.