• Wed
  • Sep 17, 2014
  • Updated: 7:06am
Beijing White Paper 2014
NewsHong Kong

Martin Lee criticises NPC for 'weird' comments on 'external interference' in Hong Kong affairs

Martin Lee queries apparent reference to Britain in comment about 'external interference'; Zhang also says democracy must proceed 'step by step'

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 20 July, 2014, 7:15pm
UPDATED : Monday, 21 July, 2014, 12:53pm

The mainland's top official on Hong Kong affairs warned yesterday that "external interference" in the city's affairs was totally unacceptable to Beijing - an apparent reference to Britain.

Zhang Dejiang made the comments to Beijing loyalists during talks in Shenzhen, a Liberal Party source reported.

He also said the 2017 chief executive election was not the "be-all and end-all" in the city's pursuit of universal suffrage.

Zhang, chairman of the National People's Congress, was speaking as pan-democratic leading lights Martin Lee Chu-ming and Anson Chan Fang On-sang concluded a week-long visit to Britain. While in London, the pair raised concerns about political reform with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

Watch: 'Fruitful' or 'shameful'? Anson Chan and Martin Lee on UK stance over Hong Kong

Lee, asked if he thought Zhang's comment was aimed at them, said he thought the remark was "weird". Referring to the agreement that set out the terms of Hong Kong's 1997 return to Chinese sovereignty, he said: "Britain was one of the signatories of the Joint Declaration. How could Britain have no responsibility in Hong Kong affairs?"

The Liberal source said: "Zhang said there were foreign countries meddling in Hong Kong's affairs which would affect the city's prosperity and stability ... and this was unacceptable to Beijing." Zhang also insisted democratic development in Hong Kong should take place "step by step".

And he was quoted by Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen, of the Business and Professionals Alliance, as saying Beijing would not back down because of Occupy Central, which is threatening to paralyse the business district in its push for universal suffrage.

Dr Chan Kin-man, co-organiser of the Occupy movement, said: "Now Beijing says 2017 is only the starting point … then when can we finally achieve genuine universal suffrage?"

Democratic Party chairwoman Emily Lau Wai-hing said the model for a chief executive election could be improved after 2017, but the next poll must offer a genuine choice of candidates.

Zhang met representatives from pro-establishment parties and individual Beijing-loyalist heavyweights, including Basic Law Committee deputy Elsie Leung Oi-sie.

Also present were mainland officials, Basic Law Committee chairman Li Fei and the director of the State Council's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, Wang Guangya.

On Saturday Zhang held talks on political reform with Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying.

NPC delegate Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai said: "Zhang quoted international [examples] that democratic development must proceed step by step … and it should also be in accordance with the local situation."

Meanwhile, Lee expressed disappointment at British Prime Minister David Cameron's "conscious decision" not to see them.

"I believe the British government policy on Hong Kong could be summarised in three words, 'More China trade,'" Lee said. "This is, in my view, shameful."

But former chief secretary Chan said the trip was "fruitful".


Related topics

More on this story

For unlimited access to:

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



This article is now closed to comments

The naivety of HKers is mind boggling. The so called activist leaders of the movement are openly calling for civil disobedience. While the mostly ignorant young ones cheer during demonstrations like going out on a date with no understanding of the world geopolitics and the implication of their joy rides. Huge IPOs of Chinese companies that can earn hundreds millions to boost up HK economy and to create jobs for the young are lost or soon to be lost to Wall Street or others and major financiers are seriously consider leaving for good to other countries.
Dig deeper and you will find the so called activist leaders are supported and funded by outsiders to stir up trouble and to demoralize China as part of the China self-implosion strategy. Hong Kong is an easier target than the mainland which is under much tighter control. The true purpose of pushing for ‘full’ democracy in HK is a geopolitical game played by foreigners and has nothing to do with the well-being of HKers.
Sadly, the lesser known to HKers is the sponsors themselves do not have ‘full’ democracy of their own with “ALL adults be able to choose a new chief executive from an UNRESTRICTED field of candidates." In UK, party leaders are vetted by the oligarchs in the 2 big parties (2 sides of the same coin these days with non existent differences). In the US the day an independent wins the Presidential election has never happened. So much for people power.

Genuine universal suffrage? LOL.
Well said - the naive bunch can't think straight. They do not even know that the so-called Arab Spring was funded and instigated by the western countries led by US. Thank God that that Spring turned into Winter, and the revolution failed. Now they want hard to ruin Syria and Ukraine, South East Asia and Hong Kong (trying to distract the miraculous growth of China by funding a few colonial left-over lackeys like Anson Chan and Martin Lee, and etc). But, that conspiracy is destined to failure because most Chinese can see through it and will not support this stupid movement. The smart Chinese know very well that the western dire situation (pressure by the ever-increasing BRICS economic strength) will continuously be inferior to the China's non-stoppable economic might. And, they can't stand with it because they can't no longer take advantage of China like in old days - selling opium as their merchandize and being use that as a pretext to ally and invade China. Those days were long gone at the birth of New China with the smartest leadership in the whole human history.
'dig deeper ...... funded by outsiders'
provide some evidence!
You can say any kind of rubbish you want but without evidence it's just rubbish!
If you dig deeper you will find the high ranking members of the Communist Party of China are actually members of an alien race sent to Earth to destroy humanity! Did you know that? Ha! I bet you hadn't heard that one before. Do you believe me just because I said so without any evidence?
ha ha ha! what an idiot, chinese send to earth to destroy humanity? paradox, accept you're an alien sent to earth to conquer human. make a movie about your fiction mind.
Hey, did you know Mongolia is a democracy? And they've implemented so much red tape they're trying to reverse it all in the past year? They've messed up, imposed so many restrictions and can't even provide sufficient heating. Democracy paralyzes a nation and leaves it undeveloped. India is an excellent example. Good luck to finding proper sanitation over there.
Seems the world got conquered by the west and forget so easily they took a swift kick to the jaw. Must be amnesia from the head trauma.
Those of you (like IdAsia) who are just throwing insults (quite obviously empty ones at that) at Chan and Lee actually listen carefully to these 2 experienced public figures are saying. Then, put together coherent arguments responding to their ideas.
These lackeys would not even dare to **** when under the British appointed governor with absolute power with single goal of ripping off the whole colony then. When Hong Kong was under the British rule decades ago, there were no social programs and just merely 2 colleges for a population of 4 millions. Then, these lackeys behaved like turtles with recoiled head, would not dare to voice anything. Once the New China gained the economic and military prowess to improve their dignity and respect, they are now chanting for democracy with the help from cheerleaders - England and US. These cheerleaders could not even fix their own domestic and financial problems. So, this small group of lackeys out of a population of 1.4 billions is negligible in hindering the miraculous growth of China. And, Xi's approval rating by Chinese is still highest up there at 88% with a population of 1.4 billion (vs western politicians of about 35%).
These two lackeys are power hungry and know very well that they will be powerless. They are there fighting hard for their own existence in the public. Like the lackeys during the war with the Japanese, they are in the same category who even allow the Japanese soldiers to rape their own sisters and mothers. The woman is power-hungry like that woman - Madame Chiang (the wife of the dictator Chiang Kai-shek who killed tens or even hundreds of millions of Chinese) of Taiwan, who would like to control the whole military of China during the fight with Japan.
These 2 admirable , experienced, intelligent and extremely well-spoken Hong Kongers (Martin lee and Anson Chan) should be appreciated by more of us. The reason they are being run so deeply into the ground by all the pro-Beijing commentators here is because they are such seriously coherent critics of Beijing and so effective in pointing out Beijing's transgressions against the Basic Law.
To you, two total ignoramuses in political economy are intelligent. Well spoken? Like Joshua Wong with mediocre grades talking at a mile a minute? Is Hong Kong going to the dogs?
that's because they are whymak - just listen to them you fool!
I provided a link




SCMP.com Account