• Tue
  • Sep 23, 2014
  • Updated: 12:38am
Beijing White Paper 2014
NewsHong Kong
POLITICS

NPC chairman tells CY Leung Hong Kong must 'strictly follow' basic law in electoral reform

Chief executive and senior officials summoned to Shenzhen for unscheduled meeting, where they are told to strictly follow the Basic Law

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 19 July, 2014, 8:04pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 20 July, 2014, 7:34pm
 

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A top Beijing official told Hong Kong officials they must "strictly follow" the Basic Law in working out their electoral reform proposal when he unexpectedly summoned them for talks in Shenzhen yesterday.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying revealed he and three senior colleagues had met Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the National People's Congress, four days after Leung submitted a report on reform to the NPC.

It is the first time the chairman of the nation's top legislature has travelled to Shenzhen to give instructions on political reform to Hong Kong leaders.

One political commentator interpreted the surprise meeting as a "courtesy" before Beijing firmly rules out letting the public nominate candidates when the city picks its leader by universal suffrage in 2017.

Others said it showed that Beijing wanted to guide the reforms.

The meeting came on the day that Beijing loyalists launched a campaign to gather signatures against Occupy Central, the movement that plans to blockade streets if a plan for "genuine" democracy is not forthcoming. Organisers said they collected 200,000 signatures yesterday.

Leung said Occupy was not discussed.

The chief executive said Zhang told the Hong Kong delegation that Beijing hoped a consensus could be forged so that universal suffrage could be achieved on schedule in 2017 and in accordance with the law.

Zhang said Beijing would uphold "one country, two systems" and maintain a high degree of autonomy for Hong Kong.

Asked what Zhang thought about public nomination, Leung said: "Zhang reiterated the long-standing position … We have to strictly follow the provisions of the Basic Law and also the stipulations of the NPC Standing Committee's decisions."

Beijing and its supporters insist only a nominating committee will be allowed to pick candidates. Pan-democrats fear the committee will be stacked with Beijing loyalists and "filter out" critical but popular candidates.

The NPC's Standing Committee meets next month to draw up a framework for reform before the Hong Kong government draws up a detailed proposal.

Leung - who was joined by Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung and constitution minister Raymond Tam Chi-yuen - said he would seek to create opportunities for communication between sectors in Hong Kong society and Beijing before that discussion.

Political commentator Lau Siu-kai said: "I won't be surprised if the NPC Standing Committee lays down detailed guidelines."

Analyst Johnny Lau Yui-siu believed Zhang's visit was a "courtesy" before Beijing takes a hard line, ruling out public nomination and setting firm rules.

Beijing loyalist Cheng Yiu-tong expected Beijing would insist candidates receive the support of more than half the nominating committee. That is the threshold advocated by the Federation of Trade Unions, of which Cheng is honorary president.

While two Beijing-loyalist lawmakers hoped to meet Zhang in Shenzhen, Dr Chan Kin-man, co-organiser of Occupy Central, said his group would not seek talks with Zhang.

Democratic Party chairwoman Emily Lau Wai-hing said her party would be willing to talk "if Beijing showed sincerity".

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This article is now closed to comments

flueckiger
Universal suffrage is only universal with universal choice of candidates by the people, otherways it is a universal joke. After 1989 the world needs another opportunity to understand how far China has moved towards democracy. An this is not a joke.
Tx to all uncompromising democrats in Hong Kong to stay firm.
jayb
There was funky CY Leung and little Carrie Lam
He said here comes the big boss, lets get it on
We took a bow and made a stand, started swinging with the hand
The sudden motion made me skip now we're into a brand knew trip
Everybody was kung-fu fighting
Those cats were fast as lightning
In fact it was a little bit frightning
But they did it with expert timing
from: Carl Douglas - Kung Fu Fighting (1974)
caractacus
They are missing the point; isn't C. Y. Leung supposed to be the Chief Executive? He seems to be letting every CCP official and his dog tell him how to do his job.
lamlm38
Zhang Dejiang will introduce North Korean style of democracy to HK apparently :)
rpasea
"Democratic Party chairwoman Emily Lau Wai-hing said her party would be willing to talk "if Beijing showed sincerity"."

What a joke! Does she really think she can dictate what her party wants to Beijing?
Paradox314
Ha! Ha! Ha! Yeah.... how ridiculous!!!
As if Beijing would listen to what anybody in Hong Kong wants!!!
Ha! Ha!
sipsip1238
I think we'll have more luck gathering donations for a bribe for these officials, I mean that's the only thing that makes them do anything normally.
Zhang Dejiang - the next in line in being busted in the graft
Sugelanren
Absolutely. you have to play by their rules..and money is the only thing they understand! Lets open a Bank account for donations under the name - Promotion of democracy!
ssslmcs01
Talk about interfering in Hong Kong's internal affairs. According to the Basic Law, Beijing can only endorse or refuse to endorse laws passed by the Hong Kong legislature but they aren't entitled to so much as comment on it. If a law passed by the legislature in Hong Kong is unacceptable to Beijing it is to be handed back to Hong Kong to either be amended and put before the legislature again to be voted on or cancelled.
scmpgt
Just like most meetings by party officials, nothing will come out of it.
 
 
 
 
 

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