• Thu
  • Aug 28, 2014
  • Updated: 10:45am
Beijing White Paper 2014
NewsHong Kong
POLITICS

White paper 'was a failure of communication with Hong Kong'

PUBLISHED : Monday, 30 June, 2014, 5:06am
UPDATED : Monday, 30 June, 2014, 3:45pm

The reaction in Hong Kong to a white paper on the "one country, two systems" policy showed that Beijing needed to learn to communicate better with the city, said a mainland source who was involved in the document's drafting process.

The white paper was intended to explain central government policies and principles directly to Hongkongers, the source said, adding: "Judging from the reaction in the past few weeks, it has fallen short of the central government's expectations."

The source said: "A substantial number of people are worried that Beijing intends to tighten its grip on Hong Kong and even take back some power from Hong Kong. That is actually wrong.

"But there is a need for the central government to improve its communications with Hongkongers in future. There is room for improvement in how we present messages.

"How can we explain our stances in a manner and style Hongkongers deem more acceptable?"

The white paper, issued by the State Council on June 10, stresses the central government's "comprehensive jurisdiction" over Hong Kong, and says the high degree of autonomy enjoyed by the city is subject to Beijing's oversight.

It adds that some people in Hong Kong are "confused and lopsided" in their understanding of the "one country, two systems" policy.

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It was the first time the central government had issued a white paper on Hong Kong since the 1997 handover.

The document has sparked fears in the city that the high degree of autonomy Hong Kong enjoys will be undermined.

Some critics accused the drafters of the white paper of being lopsided in detailing the support Beijing gave Hong Kong, without giving proportionate emphasis on the city's contribution to the country.

The mainland source admitted the white paper might have driven more people to take part in Occupy Central's unofficial referendum on how to elect the chief executive by universal suffrage in 2017.

Four men jump into Victoria Harbour in protest against Occupy Central movement

Nearly 800,000 people voted in Occupy Central's 10-day exercise, which ended at 10pm last night.

The white paper was the motivation for about 1,800 lawyers to march in silence on Friday in defence of Hong Kong's judicial independence. The document describes judges as "administrators" and says they should be patriotic.

A mainland academic who is familiar with the Basic Law said Beijing fully expected the white paper to cause a storm but decided to press ahead anyway.

"It shows the central government's stance towards Hong Kong is getting tougher. People in Hong Kong should not take it lightly," the academic said.

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This article is now closed to comments

53b2975e-180c-4da4-a53b-52c50a3209cb
The white paper is the last straw on a camel's back! The Communist have been rather consistent in making moves that could only mean for the traditional older generation of HK. They are mostly refugees from the mainland who had unforgettable experiences of Communist rule in China and therefore traumatized when the Communist made threats at them. They have a tendency of making compromises or kowtow to demands no matter how unreasonable these may be. But the younger generation, all except for new migrants from China, educated under the British system are believers of fair play and level-playing field and because they have not experienced themselves what the Communists could be up to, and are brave enough to say "Enough is enough". They are fed up with the broken promises in the Basic Law ever since the hand-over. About two years ago, they began putting forward ideas that were quite different from the local leaders and gradually their status in HK society rose and support from the people as a whole gained respect and instead of subservience, we saw a lot of resistance to Beijing's irrational policies from HongKongers. Beijing was probably surprised by the suddenly strong reaction and more hardline policies and threats meant to subdue the locals just backfired like the missile threat in 1996 during Taiwan's presidential election. This is not to be expected from Communist sympathizers or traditional local leaders. Their reaction is always more threats until HK back-off!!
53b2975e-180c-4da4-a53b-52c50a3209cb
The white paper is the last straw on a camel's back! The Communist have been rather consistent in making moves that could only mean for the traditional older generation of HK. They are mostly refugees from the mainland who had unforgettable experiences of Communist rule in China and therefore traumatized when the Communist made threats at them. They have a tendency of making compromises or kowtow to demands no matter how unreasonable these may be. But the younger generation, all except for new migrants from China, educated under the British system are believers of fair play and level-playing field and because they have not experienced themselves what the Communists could be up to, and are brave enough to say "Enough is enough". They are fed up with the broken promises in the Basic Law ever since the hand-over. About two years ago, they began putting forward ideas that were quite different from the local leaders and gradually their status in HK society rose and support from the people as a whole gained respect and instead of subservience, we saw a lot of resistance to Beijing's irrational policies from HongKongers. Beijing was probably surprised by the suddenly strong reaction and more hardline policies and threats meant to subdue the locals just backfired like the missile threat in 1996 during Taiwan's presidential election. This is not to be expected from Communist sympathizers or traditional local leaders. Their reaction is always more threats until HK back-off!!
chuchu59
Its just stating the obvious. What I don't understand is why the Liaison Office and our CE did not forewarn Beijing of the consequences. Anyone with a grain of knowledge on HK would tell you the issuance of the White Paper would likely backfire and achieve the opposite of what it intended to do. Assuming our leaders from the North does not really understand the situation here surely their ears and eyes should advise them.
53b2975e-180c-4da4-a53b-52c50a3209cb
You would be surprised to see how impotent the pro-Beijing faction could be unless you have first-hand experiences of these officials, legislative and executive council members. A Legislative Council sub-committee Chairman last Friday bulldozed through a motion with little regard for the standing order or rules of the Council before the eyes of HK viewers. He did not even bother to pretend to quote relevant provisions for his decision to ask his council member to vote!
neiltaylor
There was no failure of communications - Beijing said exactly what they think.
sonofdad
And everyone understood exactly what they meant.
XYZ
"What we got here is failure to communicate." Strother Martin in "Cool Hand Luke".
.
****www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnO9Jyz82Ps&feature=youtube_gdata_player
.
Carparklee
1995/7-1996/3 the mainland tried using missile drills in the strait to send tough message to Taiwan. Ironically, Li denghui got elected with 54% supporting votes on 3/23. Lesson learned?
kctony
Taiwan got naughty. China got tough.
Japan take our land. China bark.
sonofdad
Clearly they learned nothing; they're a bunch of self-satisfied, tough-talking rubes.

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