• Sun
  • Dec 21, 2014
  • Updated: 6:45am
NewsHong Kong

Confirmed: Pan-democrats get OK for exclusive meeting in Shanghai

Pro-government lawmakers will step aside to allow separate two-hour session with Beijing officials

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 10 April, 2014, 4:06pm
UPDATED : Friday, 11 April, 2014, 3:28am

Pan-democrats have managed to secure an exclusive meeting with central government officials in Shanghai - and Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying won't be there.

After weeks of negotiation between pan-democrats and the mainland authorities, Legislative Council president Jasper Tsang Yok-sing has confirmed that the pan-democrats will have a two-hour reform discussion with the officials on Sunday.

Tsang said the separate meeting would be the second half of a 31/2-hour political reform seminar with Wang Guangya , director of the State Council's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, and Basic Law Committee chairman Li Fei .

"There will first be a meeting for all lawmakers, then some of them will stay behind after the first part," Tsang said yesterday after an hour-long meeting with the pan-democrats.

"The central government officials knew some of our lawmakers would like to separately exchange views with them. So the pan-democrats will stay behind while the pro-government lawmakers are willing to accommodate their requests."

Leung will attend only the early session, but Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Raymond Tam Chi-yuen will sit in for the pan-democrats' meeting. "We hope to ensure all lawmakers will have sufficient time for discussion with the officials," said Tsang, who will also stay behind to co-ordinate pan-democrats' speeches "according to the order they requested".

The 57 lawmakers joining the Shanghai trip, including 14 pan-democrats, will start their programme tomorrow, while the Beijing officials will not arrive in the city until Sunday.

Sin Chung-kai, one of the two Democratic Party representatives, said a two-hour meeting was too short for pan-democrats to discuss electoral reform with Beijing officials.

He said that while most would join other formal events, "we will probably skip the sight-seeing" to such places as the Hongqiao business district and the Bund.

Pan-democrats' co-ordinator Frederick Fung Kin-kee said they would meet today to discuss the speaking order. "The baseline is that each pan-democrat would be able to speak at least once," he said.

"Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung, of the League of Social Democrats, and the Labour Party's Cyd Ho Sau-lan - both without home-return permits - applied for a one-off pass at the China Travel Service yesterday.


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This article is now closed to comments

Some time ago I had the opportunity to have a private discussion with "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-Hung over a few beers in a Wanchai pub where I happened to bump into him.
I do not agree with his antiques but I was deeply impressed with his political knowledge not only about Hong Kong but many other democracies around the world.
It was a very calm and productive discussion in which we exchange also controversial opinions.
I hope that "Long Hair" will go on this trip with the same spirit in tolerating other's opinion which might be controversial.
He will leave a deep impression with the Chinese officials if he (and his peers) can show them the true democratic spirit of the willingness to compromise and consensus .
This trip's mission is to convince the Chinese officials that the democrats are politicians who can be taken serious and Beijing doesn't need to be afraid of them because they love HK and China, want only the best for HK and have a thorough understanding of the HK situation and problems and want to be part to bring HK step by step closer to democracy in an "orderly manner" (as Beijing always likes to emphasise) .
I hope he will behave him self , that point I don't like about him.
Tell it with words and not with aggressive acts , it's a shame for Hong Kong. Good luck in Shanghai.
How About
Hey Longhair, besides your trademark Che Guevara T-shirt, wear one with Lenin and Marx, Wang Guangya will embrace you and arrange to debate Das Kapital with you after dinner!
So why the long hesitation before accepting the invitation? Beijing is 'afraid' of them? You kidding? Beijing issued the invitations to talk. Discussions in an 'orderly manner' is certainly preferable to unruly street protests where tempers overrule discussions.


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