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  • Dec 24, 2014
  • Updated: 11:29pm
Occupy Central
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Liaison chief Zhang Xiaoming unmoved by Occupy Central's poll options

Zhang tells democrat Basic Law is the only basis for reforms ahead of 2017 election

PUBLISHED : Friday, 09 May, 2014, 3:17am
UPDATED : Friday, 09 May, 2014, 7:20am

Beijing's liaison office chief has reiterated that reform for the 2017 chief executive election must adhere to the Basic Law, a stance previously taken to rule out public nomination.

The remarks by Zhang Xiaoming, quoted by a pan-democratic lawmaker who met him yesterday, were the first response by a mainland official to Occupy Central supporters' selection of three options for the poll, which all call for the public to have the right to nominate candidates.

Dr Joseph Lee Kok-long said he told Zhang the options "clearly show a strong aspiration for public nomination".

Zhang did not respond to his points one by one, "because we were just making our own points and there was good communication", Lee said.

"Director Zhang reiterated clearly the central government's stance. It was the same stance … that [the election] must fit the Basic Law."

Lee - the health services representative and the first democrat to enter the liaison office in Sai Wan since 2010 - was speaking after a 90-minute meeting behind closed doors.

It came two days after Occupy Central endorsed three proposals for a "civil referendum" on political reform next month. That decision was criticised by moderate pan-democrats for failing to give people a genuine choice.

Lee said he and Zhang also discussed remarks by National People's Congress chairman Zhang Dejiang in March.

He was referring to a statement by the national legislature chief that Beijing was "firmly supportive of Hong Kong's gradual democratic development in accordance with the Basic Law", and that failure to elect a patriotic ruler could have "disastrous consequences".

Lee was the first pan-democrat to meet Zhang since 10 pan-democrats met Beijing officials to discuss political reform in Shanghai a month ago.

Accountancy sector lawmaker Kenneth Leung, who also attended the Shanghai meeting, told the South China Morning Post on Wednesday that he would not meet liaison office representatives to discuss electoral reform before Occupy Central's "referendum" from June 20 to 22.

Other pan-democrats have yet to decide whether to accept an invitation to meet Zhang.



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This article is now closed to comments

What does a liaison chief do - the impression he is giving me is that he is like an outdoor dog that is instructed to bark whenever someone walks past...
"gradual democratic development in accordance with the Basic Law", and that failure to elect a patriotic ruler could have "disastrous consequences"
---ummm, earth to Zhang: those 2 statements contradict 1 another. It really takes a CCP talking head to be able to insist that everything go according to Basic Law one minute, then turn around and require something that has no basis in Basic Law all in the same sentence. Not to mention that the Bar Association has already deemed such requirement to be hogwash. These CCP types sure are talented.
Anyway, these CCP talking heads seem to be on infinite repeat. They should just go away for a while, and not bother opening their mouths again until they are ready to present their compromise position. Otherwise it's just lather/rinse/repeat with these people.
hard times !
of course,this old guy is unmoved by the polls concerning the upcoming 'Occupy Central' which shows that most respondents chose to support a public/civil nomination in the Chief Executive Election in 2017.This Zhang Xiao-ming prefers or forced to ( I should say) to bury his head in the sands just like what the ostriches do ! Right ? But whatever will be, will be.If there is going to a thunderstorm (the Occupy Central campaign) in coming months, no one could stop it ! Just wait and see.
hard times !
maybe Mr.Zhang is quite young compared with his predecessors, yet his thought of democracy is absolutely the same as theirs ! No difference at all ! Right ?
Who was this coming? Communist minion with orders to squelch anything but the minimum possible power given to the people disagrees with people's right to vote for their own officials. Wow.
China should take a more relaxed stance with respect to democratic reform in Hong Kong. In fact, Hong Kong is a perfect place for China to experiment with political alternatives. It can be set up as a model to Taiwan. In doing so, the timimg is also opportune to demonstrate China's softside to her neighbours. It can also demonstrate her flexibility (vs. rigidity) to the world. " Assimilation" and "adaptability" has always been the cultural characteristics of our Chinese culture. These are in fact strong points of our culture rather than weaknesses. Recent actions around our neighbourhood are projecting the wrong image and message. China should build up her economy and military prepareness, but brandishing them around is not wise and is not in the Chinese culture and long term interest. Any efforts on our part should be welcomed and appreciated, rather than imposed. Where they are not, we should be patient and understanding. This way, sooner or later things will come around. Again, by being more flexible with respect to Hong Kong's political reform, China can project her true cultural image to the world. Its a win-win-win.


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