• Sat
  • Dec 20, 2014
  • Updated: 4:37pm
Occupy Central
NewsHong Kong

Li Yuanchao slams Occupy Central as ‘illegal movement that impedes universal suffrage’

Vice-president tells news executives that central government is ‘ready to help’ handle protesters

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 24 April, 2014, 4:49pm
UPDATED : Friday, 25 April, 2014, 4:23pm

Top Beijing officials yesterday slammed Occupy Central as an "illegal" movement that "damages the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong".

During a high-level meeting with media executives from the city, Vice-President Li Yuanchao , the deputy head of the Communist Party's leading group on Hong Kong and Macau affairs, and Wang Guangya , director of the State Council's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, said Beijing strongly opposed the movement.

The comments came during a meeting between news executives and Beijing officials to mark the 60th anniversary of the Newspaper Society of Hong Kong.

"[Li] said Occupy Central was illegal. He also said it impeded universal suffrage," Lee Cho-jat, chairman of the Newspaper Society, told reporters following the meeting. "He also said it damaged the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong."

Occupy Central is a non-violent civil disobedience movement which plans to block streets in Central if the government does not come up with an acceptable plan for universal suffrage.

Delegate Ronald Chiu Ying-chun, of Cable TV, quoted Wang after the meeting as saying that Beijing "would offer help" if Hong Kong needed it in handling Occupy Central.

"He also said if Occupy Central really did take place, he was confident that the SAR government could handle it. But if the SAR government needed help or support from the central government, the central government would offer it."

The first five minutes of the meeting were open to the media.

"Your media companies have, I should say, contributed much in fostering a smooth handover of Hong Kong back to the mainland and protecting Hong Kong's prosperity and stability," said the vice-president.

He also urged the executives to see the "bigger picture" and lead society in reaping the benefits of China's development.

"I hope the media of Hong Kong could consider the collective benefits of the country and Hong Kong society and operate objectively, fairly, and impartially to lead society to grasp the new opportunities that have come with the country's reforms and developments," Li said.

The delegation was made up of representatives from the News Executives' Association, the Federation of Journalists and the Newspaper Society.

Sham Yee-lan, chairwoman of the Journalists Association, which was not invited, said media executives should have taken the chance to fight for better protection of journalists.

"We hope the news directors have reflected the difficulties faced by Hong Kong reporters working on the mainland, instead of just listening," Sham said. But she added: "We have to believe in the editorial independence of the delegates' media."



For unlimited access to:

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



This article is now closed to comments

The Chinese government's definition of a harmonious society is one where absolutely no one but the government can complain about the country's problems. This is going to show that people in Hong Kong will not bow down to that definition.
There is no limit to absurdity in CCP leadership statements. The entire CCP strategy is to sink universal suffrage. We all know that. Even its staunchest supporters know their plan is to close doors on freedom of choice of candidates.
And Wang's offer of support to quell democracy protests is in direct contravention of Article 22 of the Basic Law, which states: "No department of the Central People's Government ... may interfere in the affairs which the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region administers on its own in accordance with this Law". So much for illegality. The CCP have thousands under lock and key in blatant disregard of their own constitution so don't go to them for respect for the law.
This is CCP carrot and stick tactics. .
When the Roman regiments on the Rhine mutinied the Roman Emperor Tiberius was asked if he would improve their pay and conditions, he replied "It depends on what they do." Believing they would win the improvements if they stopped the mutiny, the troops came to order and obeyed their officers. They never got their pay rise or better conditions. What Tiberius really meant was the opposite, that if they continued the mutiny he would have to pay them.
It would have been surprising if he'd say otherwise, but it's still full of sh#*!...
If it is illegal then why haven't the police or pro-Beijing forces brought that up before?
those stupid kids that instigated these protests are cowards, once the PLA come marching they'll all disperse and pretend their just onlookers. These kids only target mothers and children and will squeal like a pig once their face is squished on the ground under a PLA infantry boot.


SCMP.com Account