Occupy Central

NDRC adds its voice to Occupy Central criticism

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 05 July, 2014, 3:14am
UPDATED : Saturday, 05 July, 2014, 3:33am

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has become the latest mainland agency to attack Occupy Central. The nation's economic manager yesterday said the movement would harm Hong Kong's business environment and delay universal suffrage.

Li Pumin, the NDRC's secretary general, said: "Occupy Central will hurt Hong Kong's image and be unfavourable to [its] business environment."

The civil disobedience movement, which has threatened to blockade Central streets if the Hong Kong government does not come up with a satisfactory electoral reform plan, would delay universal suffrage and wreak havoc on the city's stability and prosperity, Li said.

The NDRC is the fourth central government agency to attack Occupy Central this week. The Ministry of Commerce said Occupy would damage Hong Kong's position as a financial centre, while the Ministry of Finance and the People's Bank of China made similar comments.

Li said Hong Kong was a society under the rule of law and the NDRC believed the city's government was capable of maintaining the city's stability.

Despite Occupy's threat, central government policies would not be affected and cross-border projects would be pushed forward, Li said. The NDRC had pledged support to Hong Kong in different areas such as regional cooperation with Zhuhai , Guangdong and Shenzhen and trade and renminbi business, he added.

Zhu Yingjuan, deputy chief of the NDRC's economy and trade department, said that improvements to the individual visit scheme under which most mainland tourists travel to Hong Kong were under discussion.

"The scheme helped boost Hong Kong's economy, but the large number of mainland visitors has caused some problems with Hong Kong's capacity," she said.

The State Council's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, the National People's Congress and related authorities would come up with measures to help reduce the impact on Hongkongers' livelihood, she said.