• Sun
  • Dec 21, 2014
  • Updated: 5:35am
Occupy Central
NewsHong Kong

Rare disagreement as CY Leung takes issue with Global Times editorial on Occupy poll

Chief Executive speaks out against state-run newspaper that belittled 700,000 voters in unofficial plebiscite as 'no match' for 1.3 billion

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 24 June, 2014, 11:50am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 25 June, 2014, 8:41am

In a rare example of a top Hong Kong official not following Beijing's script, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying yesterday said he disagreed with an editorial in the state-run Global Times newspaper which described the enormous turnout for Occupy Central's reform poll as "no match" for the 1.3 billion population of China.

Leung, who went on leave from yesterday until Friday, said it was wrong to put "the people of Hong Kong and China on confronting sides".

In a strongly worded editorial published on Monday, the Global Times warned that since "the Basic Law reflects the will of the whole nation … more than 1.3 billion people have the right to speak on Hong Kong's political reform".

Leung said that "no matter how many people voted", and no matter whether the number was "inflated", the majority of residents who took part were expressing their wish to elect the city's leader by universal suffrage in 2017.

The Global Times described the Occupy poll as "illegal", but Leung clarified that the people who voted would face no criminal liability.

However, he reiterated that public nomination "does not comply with the Basic Law", saying that there were no grounds for people to call for universal suffrage to be compatible with international standards.

"[The phrase] 'international standards' is not found in the Basic Law … Elections in Hong Kong must be conducted according to our actual situation and the [city's mini-constitution]."

More than 738,000 people had voted in Occupy Central's unofficial referendum by midnight yesterday on three options for how the chief executive should be elected in 2017. All three options allow the public to nominate candidates - an idea Beijing has repeatedly rejected.

The huge turnout for Occupy's unofficial referendum is thought to have been fuelled by a backlash against Beijing's assertion of its sovereignty in a white paper two weeks ago.

That controversial document also appeared to affect the local government's popularity.

The University of Hong Kong interviewed about 1,000 residents last week, and found that only 37 per cent were satisfied with how the local administration handled its relationship with Beijing, while 38 per cent said they were not.

The minus-1 net satisfaction rate was nine percentage points lower than three months ago, and the lowest since September 2012. Leung's latest popularity rating was 45.6 points, 0.2 points lower than two weeks ago.

Meanwhile, Leung unveiled in his blog a letter he wrote to the Taiwan-based Liberty Times, which ran an article written by Hong Kong commentator Jacky Lim Hung-tat on June 13.

Lim criticised the white paper for "abolishing" the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration, which promised Hong Kong "a high degree of autonomy, except in foreign and defence affairs".

In his blog, Leung countered that the joint declaration also made it clear that China would stipulate its policies on Hong Kong in the Basic Law. That stated that apart from its roles in foreign and defence matters, Beijing had the power to appoint the chief executive and principal officials, as well as to interpret and amend the Basic Law.



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"But Leung clarified that the more than 730,000 people who voted would face no criminal liability"
Why could there possibly any "criminal liability" for people participating in an opinion poll ?? Where does it say in any of our laws in HK that you cannot conduct an opinion poll or participate in it ?
These are just scaremongering tactics by Beijing and its cronies without any legal base which may work with the 1.3 billion people politically uneducated and brainwashed north of the border .
Whatever his intentions may be, lets give CY a round of applause for his willingness to stand up for HK people. There may well be cynics but at least its a good start from someone perceived to be Beijing's yes-man. We are with you on this CY.
Its indeed very stupid for Global Times to say such a thing to say the least. They probably did not think of the wide implications of China's image to the world especially to small countries worldwide. It paints China as a big country ready to bully small countries anytime. This is exactly opposite to what's its leaders have tried so hard to portrait China as a peaceful country ready to help at all times. I think the government should come out and rebuke Global Times on the article immediately, if not fire the editor who allows such an article to appear. CY did the right thing with his quick reaction. Seems China has fallen asleep in damage control in recent events i.e. instead to anticipate in advance of events, it tends to react and very slowly and clumsily at that.
And CY is making it clear that no matter what Beijing says on this, he's on our side. He's making it clear that no matter what anyone says about it being illegal, his one word is all that is sufficient to ensure that no one will face prosecution over this.
Our 3 CE's have always had 2 audiences to contend with, hats off to CY for making it clear to both of them.
Yes. Well done CY. Can't imagine Donald Tsang doing this.
CY Leung has been a lapdog of the CPP since he was in his 20's. The only reason he's rich is because the mainland government set him up with choice properties in China. He has done nothing to 'stick up for' HK's true interests. I would say that the Global Times article was written with CY Leung's future disagreement already in mind. It is just a setup by the mainland govt. to help him boost his credibility with HK people. They're trying to help their own puppet to look more like a genuine leader.
Global Times: “the Basic Law reflects the will of the whole nation as well … more than 1.3 billion people have the right to speak on Hong Kong’s political reform”. Sounds like there is democracy and freedom in the land of the 1.3 billion? If only they knew. Then we have certain people in HK who are a*** lickers, only too afraid that they do not please these masters enough as to lose their business dealings and connections. All you have to do is to watch these lickers in big official functions to know their fear and their facetiousness. How sad that Hong Kong has degenerated to such a sorry state, forever fearful of its masters from the north. This is one country two systems. Taiwanese are watching this gleefully and will fight for the status quo. To be "re-united" with the motherland, as the commis love to harp with the promise of everything you can imagine in the sky, is something not quite easily achieved. This is a much stronger bastion you know.
Some said that the whole episode was just orchestrated by the government. Even though it was, obviously they were for the well beings of HK...Just minutes ago, I saw on TV heavy weight personnel from the PanDem camp Emily Lau etc. flooded out to criticize CY fiercely, on what he has just said responding to Global Times...these people look like a pack of wolf wanting to draw blood...poor CY!
FINALLY he has grown a pair!
Good for Emily! She knows a fake when she sees one.



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