• Thu
  • Nov 27, 2014
  • Updated: 8:13am
July 1 march
NewsHong Kong
POLITICS

Beijing unmoved by massive rally turnout, say advisers

As fallout from protest spreads, advisers warn of social and financial crisis if conflict over the city's pro-democracy movement escalates

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 03 July, 2014, 3:26am
UPDATED : Thursday, 03 July, 2014, 4:14pm
 

Poll

  • Yes: 33%
  • No: 67%
3 Jul 2014
  • Yes
  • No
Total number of votes recorded: 745

Beijing is unlikely to make concessions on political reform despite demands by hundreds of thousands of people who joined the July 1 pro-democracy march, according to state media and advisers to the central government.

Financial authorities also called on the city to guard against economic instability in the face of possible disruption by the Occupy Central movement, with one adviser warning of "bloody conflicts" if confrontation between Beijing and Hongkongers worsened.

"It is difficult for the central government to change its stance simply because of the massive turnout," Professor Lau Siu-kai, vice-chairman of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macau Studies, said. "I'm worried the escalating confrontation between Beijing and Hongkongers could result in bloody conflicts."

The Civil Human Rights Front, organiser of the annual march, put the turnout on Tuesday at 510,000, while police said 92,000 started the march in Victoria Park.

Watch: Hong Kong's July 1 democracy protests see massive turnout

Despite the turnout, a Global Times editorial said Beijing would not make concessions. "Some Hongkongers see 'democracy' as their only advantage over the mainland, now that the city is losing its economic edge," the newspaper, known for its hardline stance, said. "Joining protests makes some people feel proud and superior to their mainland counterparts."

Peking University law professor Wang Lei said the Hong Kong government should take the protest seriously.

But whether it would give the pro-democracy camp more bargaining power was hard to say.

"Since the final plan of how to achieve universal suffrage hasn't been released yet, such populist protests will not help us solve problems in society," he said.

The People's Daily said putting patriots in charge of the city was in line with "the principles of heaven and earth". It said late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping defined patriots as those "who loyally support China's exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong, and those who do not impair [its] prosperity and stability".

The Hong Kong government plans to release its proposal for the 2017 chief executive election later this year.

In Beijing, Vice-Minister of Finance Wang Baoan said Occupy Central - which threatens to block traffic in the financial hub if the government fails to come up with a satisfactory proposal for 2017 - would damage economic development and social stability.

"Hong Kong is an important offshore renminbi centre, but the development of the business relies on the stability of its financial environment," he said.

The People's Bank of China said Hong Kong was the largest offshore renminbi market and should value this status.

"The [renminbi] business is a good piece of pie. If you don't want to eat, this is your choice," said Guo Jiangwei, of the bank's monetary policy department.

The US State Department also weighed in, saying: "The legitimacy of this person [elected in the 2017 chief executive poll] will be enhanced if universal suffrage is fulfiled and if the election provides a genuine choice of candidates that are representative of the voters' will."

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei responded yesterday by saying the central government "resolutely opposes any form of interference by any foreign country, and hopes the relevant country stops gossiping about Hong Kong's internal affairs".

Additional reporting by Li Jing

 

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122

This article is now closed to comments

Dai Muff
No Professor Lau it is not difficult for a government to change its mind. It just has to want to. So far we have not received one single proposal from this government on how to make the nominating committee so representative that even a moderate democrat like myself will buy it. This government says it's trying to compromise but it offers nothing.
Paradox314
Not only are China's leaders NOT patriotic,
Not only do they NOT love China -
.
They imprison and destroy all those who really are patriotic heroes - those who act selflessly out of Love for their countrymen and out of commitment to higher ideals such as Truth, Love and Justice.
.
China's patriots are those who stand up and shout out-loud about the crimes of the government - those who point out what is wrong with the Chinese government system. They speak Truth to power, knowing the cost they will have to pay. They are courageous. That is what Love is about. Love Sacrifices its own self-interest for the good of others. Chinese dissidents, like Gao Zhisheng 高智晟, Dr. Jiang Yanyong 蔣彥永, Cheng Jianping 程建萍, Wu'er Kaixi 吾尔开希•多莱特 - to name only a few - there are innumerable others.
Beijing eats it own true patriots.
Dai Muff
What I love is how people living thousands of miles away from Hong Kong and China have a nostalgia for Chinese communism they would never live under themselves. Amazing how so many of our greatest patriots live in America.
david.chambers.14855
Well they're commies, and they are in control, what do you expect? You are going to have to do much more than that for them to dust off the tanks.
Paradox314
"Beijing unmoved by the deepest, Heartfelt Desires of Chinese People"
.
How ironic that a party (CPP = Central Government) that was supposedly born out of concern for the needs of common people (the peasants) now routinely disregards the cry 'Freedom!' of its citizens pinned & crushed beneath the wheels of its Capitalist Power accumulating machinery.
.
(A note to the wumao - Do you not see how you are being used to spread evil lies designed to protect the power and wealth of your masters at the expense of common people like yourselves? Do you see this, but do your 'jobs' anyway, because you hope one day to eat a slice of this evil pie?)
Dao-Phooy
Beijing only hears the words of its own sycophants! All the comments about the British is nonsense and a pathetic and useless diversionary tactic. Hongkongers want what was promised. A high degree of autonomy as promised in the Basic Law. Hongkongers know all too well that successive governments since 1997 have been abject failures. Ministers and so-called top civil servants are totally out of their depth and serve up failed policies after failed policies with zero accountability. As for our 3 CEs - they have clearly scored F, FFF and F grades and yet there has been no accountability to us, only to Beijing. We want to elect a candidate who will be accountable for local decisions and when he or she fails can be voted out. But these sycophants don't get it. They have the gall to lecture us on 'democracy and the rule of law' when they have zero comprehension or experience of the same! Sadly, it looks like the Government will propose a Nominating Committee which will fail to meet the aspirations of Hong Kong. We can only have democracy as defined by CCP.
ejmciii
Wow who saw that coming. The tyrants do not care what the people say. Hmm, let them eat dumplings! Well, at least the propaganda minions will have a source of income for the forseeeable future telling us why we are wrong to want to make our own decisions and how we are lucky Beijing allows us to breathe. And the choir of cretins is already at work.
bagelbagel
China is insecure. In reality the CCP is insecure. This sort of demonstration for democracy can be contagious. Wonder what sort of coverage in the Chinese media???
HK-Lover
To make it simple for you to understand:
The elected mayor of a city in the USA e.g. New York is a hard-core patriot and loves his country, however he doesn't like the president of the USA and his party. That's what we call democracy.
You can love you country and be a patriot of the highest order but you don't like the ruling party. Simple, isn't it ?
Paradox314
Ok let me explain clearly - I know these concepts are new to you.
A patriot is a person who loves their country. That means they Love the people and the Land. When they love the country, then the best interests of the country are a higher loyalty for them than the interests of subset group within that country. In this case, the subset is the Communist party of China. The CPP is NOT China. If someone is loyal to a smaller subset, such as a particular leader or a particular political party and will sacrifice the true best interests of the Nation in favour of that individual then they could be called a sycophant or even a TRAITOR!

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