• Sun
  • Sep 21, 2014
  • Updated: 6:58pm
NewsHong Kong
POLITICS

Patriotism and Basic Law ‘non-negotiable’ for chief executive election in 2017

Both principles vital to chief executive election, top Beijing official tells Shenzhen meeting; while those who seek independence have 'no future'

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 21 August, 2014, 5:26pm
UPDATED : Friday, 22 August, 2014, 4:40pm

Failure to comply with the Basic Law and the principle of patriots governing Hong Kong would amount to turning the city into an independent political entity, a top mainland official told lawmakers yesterday.

The warning was issued by Li Fei, chairman of the Basic Law Committee, at a seminar on reform in Shenzhen, which pan-democrats say failed to narrow their divide with Beijing.

[The committee] cannot stop members of any [camp] running
LI FEI, BASIC LAW COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN

"Since the handover, there has always been a group of people who do not approve of the central government's right to govern Hong Kong … They attempt to maintain the colonial-style rule, which is a real threat to national security," Li said.

He noted that pan-democrats in the seminar had urged Beijing not to be too worried about the impact of reform on national security. "We therefore emphasise that the person who governs Hong Kong must be a patriot."

During the seminar, Li said those who tried to make Hong Kong independent "cannot at all have a political future", "and the best way out for them is to change their political stance".

He criticised people for trying to deviate from the Basic Law and for "relying on foreign influences" in promoting reform.

The seminar, attended by 48 of the city's 70 lawmakers, was a last-ditch effort to close the gap between pan-democrats and Beijing before the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress - the top national legislature - meets next week to lay down a framework for electing the chief executive in 2017.

Afterwards, a session was arranged for 14 pan-democrats to talk directly to Li.

On Wednesday, the 26 pan-democratic lawmakers signed a pledge to vote down any reform proposal that failed to meet international democratic standards.

They fear that a nominating committee, as laid out in the Basic Law, would be formed in such a way that would screen out pan-democratic hopefuls. Some insist on giving the public the right to select candidates.

While sounding a tough note against independence, Li also said most pan-democrats were patriots and the nominating committee could not "stop members of any political parties or camps running".

After the meeting, the Democratic Party's Albert Ho Chun-yan said he did not think Li's remarks were an attack on pan-democrats. His colleague Helena Wong Pik-wan said "the differences remain obvious, although we had a frank dialogue".

Wong Kwok-kin, of the Beijing-friendly Federation of Trade Unions, urged the Standing Committee to clarify whether international standards applied to Hong Kong, and whether the proposal for 2017 would be the "ultimate" reform opportunity.

The seminar was co-hosted by Wang Guangya , director of the State Council's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, and Zhang Xiaoming , the head of Beijing's liaison office in Hong Kong.

 

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tanlaysoon@gmail.com
Hong Kong (HK) is (part and parcel) an integral part of China physically and politically. It was historically carved out of China by the Brits and returned lawfully back to China. HK cannot be independent like Singapore as a political entity. Singapore had already a government represented by Lee Kuan Yew & his political party (Peoples Action Party) lawfully elected to run its own affairs when they sought union with Malaysia. Owing to political differences Singapore had to part from Malaysia by mutual agreement and stand alone independently.
Citizens in Singapore like citizens in any other country owe allegiance (or loyalty) to Singapore just like others to their own respective countries. If any person refuses to be loyal to China as a citizen, that person has no right to remain a citizen enjoying all the rights of citizenship but owing allegiance to a separate and independent polity (state or country). As HK is not an independent political entity (but can be administered differently as a system) while remaining an integral part of China, allegiance can only be to China.
raymondspchu
Partridge, presume you are not of Chinese decent. Are you advocating HK independence? If yes, you have no future in HK.
kctony
Quite the opposite. If HK becomes independent - with Beijing's blessing - then the property tycoons will be laughing to their banks. HK will replace London & New York as the world financial center overnight because the damn Americans & Brits will make sure of that.
Win-win situation for many Beijing officials as HK would become a haven for their money.
ejmciii
What does his descent have to do with anything? Is one race hard wired not to be able to govern itself? I do not think so. His point is quite valid. Singapore has not collapsed because it is a multiracial, multicultural that has had its ups and downs but done quite well as an international city state. Why can Hong Kong not exercise its autonomy, as granted under the Basic Law, subject to regulation as to defense and foreign relations, without the mandarins in Beijing telling them how to live? Now perhaps some people feel they cannot take care of themselves and need communists to think for them and Raymond, you may be one of them. That hardly means that all people in Hong Kong are imbeciles who need daddy to rule their lives.
partridge
Has no one noticed that Singapore seems to have made out just fine as an independent city state? Or is that the elephant in the room?
matthew.oreilly.96
These so-called Communist standing Committees throughout China are toothless. And next to near useless when it comes to enacting policies formulated at the innumerable conventions convened with regularity throughout China. It is well known by those people with even a smidgen of political insight that they are just for show. The real decisions are made by the godfathers in Beijing.
''Failure to comply with the Basic Law and the principle of patriots governing Hong Kong would amount to turning the city into an independent political entity, a top mainland official told lawmakers yesterday.''
This is absolutely absurd and hilarious. It reminds me of George Bushes threat to the coalition of the willing in the run up to the to his personal family war in Iraq: You are either with us or you are with the terrorists.
spyeatte
I guess they haven't heard of the term "loyal opposition". Or they have heard of it, which is more likely.
rease.92
When a country fails patriotism rises to the surface.
Ant Lee
Hong Kong's values and integrity "non-negotiable’
53ca9882-1644-4a42-948c-52c00a3209cb
very very fair to have patriots governing hk,don't forget hk is China 's territory .Imagine that the governor of New York State is not patriotic to America, but say, a pro jihadis. He wouldn't be allowed in.Or the chief minister of Wales is not pro british.
The hk government should ask those who deny that hk is part of china to leave Hk.see whether UK or USA will accept them.It is perfectly correct that HK schools teach chinese history instead of british history, and that schools be taught in mandarin.
would be immigrants to USA are tested on american history when they apply for american citizenship,and schools are in american english and american history.

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