• Thu
  • Dec 18, 2014
  • Updated: 2:01pm
Beijing White Paper 2014
NewsHong Kong

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.

Alliance for True Democracy proposal wins Occupy Central poll as nearly 800,000 Hongkongers vote

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.


For unlimited access to:

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



This article is now closed to comments

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?
"A mainland academic......"

These three words essentially mean Pro CCP sycophantic stooge.
There was no failure of communications - Beijing said exactly what they think.
The white paper wasn't a faille of communication.

The white paper was a failure. Period.
it was rather naive of the CCP to publish the white paper without foreseeing the consequences.
Hopefully they learned their lesson.
For them to publish a paper like this (without at least vetting it first) at this time when people are this irrational, without any possibility of systematic suppression of resistance, they should have known better.
So in this one rare instance...they were incredibly shortsighted and naive.
And everyone understood exactly what they meant.
Taiwan got naughty. China got tough.
Japan take our land. China bark.
Clearly they learned nothing; they're a bunch of self-satisfied, tough-talking rubes.
The CCP don't know how to run HK, neither will they know how to run Taiwan, if given a chance! The White Paper is a shallow document reminding people of "how good I have been to you!". The Chinese still thinks that money is everything, unfortunately it's not to a lot of Hongkongers! We want back our autonomy, our freedom, and above all, our independence of judiciary!



SCMP.com Account