• Wed
  • Dec 24, 2014
  • Updated: 10:44am
Universal Suffrage
NewsHong Kong
POLITICS

Some senior Chinese cadres oppose universal suffrage for Hong Kong, says source

PUBLISHED : Friday, 05 September, 2014, 1:07am
UPDATED : Friday, 05 September, 2014, 9:13am
 

Poll

  • Better: 36%
  • Worse: 25%
  • No change: 37%
  • Not sure: 2%
5 Sep 2014
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Total number of votes recorded: 525

Some senior mainland cadres believe it would be wrong to grant Hong Kong universal suffrage unless tight restrictions are imposed and that the decision in 2007 to allow "one man, one vote" in 2017 was unwise, a local source familiar with Beijing's policies on Hong Kong says.

The source also told the South China Morning Post yesterday that many cadres would be pleased to see Hong Kong lawmakers veto reforms for the 2017 chief executive election.

The source said the need to appease wary cadres was the reason the National People's Congress Standing Committee set a tight framework for reform, including limiting the number of candidates and demanding that they win majority support from a nominating committee.

Article 45 of the Basic Law states that electing the city's leader by universal suffrage is the "ultimate aim", but sets no date and says "the principle of gradual and orderly progress" should apply, taking into account "the actual situation in Hong Kong". The Standing Committee ruled in 2007 that universal suffrage could be implemented in 2017.

But the source said: "Some senior mainland officials do not want to see universal suffrage introduced in Hong Kong at all.

"They believe that the central government leadership's decision in 2007 … was unwise and not well thought-out.

"Those Hong Kong people who oppose the framework may not realise that many Beijing officials will be happy to see Hong Kong's electoral methods stay as they are."

However, the source said, other senior cadres were keen to see universal suffrage. Wang Guangya , director of the State Council's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, was cited as an example. Wang, 64, wanted to see it achieved before he retires next year, the source said.

The Standing Committee ruled only two or three candidates could run and they would need majority support from a nominating body based on the election committee for the 2012 poll. Pan-democrats said they would veto the proposals.

Meanwhile, the British government said yesterday it recognised that the universal suffrage model laid down by Beijing for Hong Kong "will disappoint", but it made no mention of its obligations under the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration.

A day earlier, Chris Patten, Hong Kong's last governor, had urged London to stand up to Beijing, as it had a "moral and political obligation" to the city, having co-signed the 1984 treaty, which says Hong Kong should enjoy extensive autonomy under "one country, two systems".

In a statement, Britain's Foreign Office said: "We welcome the confirmation that China's objective is for the election of Hong Kong's chief executive through universal suffrage …

"While we recognise that there is no perfect model, the important thing is that the people of Hong Kong have a genuine choice and a real stake in the outcome."

Hong Kong government officials and establishment figures had earlier hit back at Patten.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said: "Hong Kong's constitutional development under the Basic Law is an internal affair of our country and a matter for the central authorities and our people to decide."

Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai, an NPC Standing Committee member, said Patten was looking at Hong Kong issues from a "pre-handover viewpoint".

Asked to comment on the Foreign Office statement last night, Martin Lee Chu-ming, founding chairman of the Democratic Party, said: "Shameful. Totally irresponsible."

He added: "Asking Hongkongers to pocket the imperfect [reform] model would be tantamount to selling them down the river for 30 pieces of silver."

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40

This article is now closed to comments

hm03
I simply can't figure out how to interpret this article.
...
Is editor Wang Xiangwei, who started at China Daily and has been reportedly accused of muzzling the paper (think what the front page of June 4 2014 was. Hint: not tank man) behind this article? Is this article, quoting a questionable source, trying to *persuade* pan-democrats that we don't actually have it so bad after all and that there are (thank the lord) indeed people fighting our fight within the Communist Party. Now that we have this arguably incomplete proposal, we should thank ourselves lucky and just shut up? Am I being paranoid in this very tense moment of our home that we call Hong Kong?
...
Or is this article's source legitimate, which again, we should thank ourselves silly for this mathematically-impossible-for-a-democrat-to-win-a-seat-at-the-ballot-box and again, just muzzle our mouths?
...
Please advice.
rupe888
It wouldn't surprise me if some cadres wanted human sacrifices from each province to do battle in a Hunger Games-style death match, as tribute to the glory of the CCP. So no, it does not surprise me that they don't want to give us the vote.
ianson
Get Real, Wang. Every last one of them is opposed to universal suffrage and they have fully enunciated that view in the NPCSC's decision on Sunday. This article is pure propaganda, premised on the absurd proposition that the decision is not what it plainly is, a complete, absolute, irrefutable denial of anything like universal suffrage. "One man, one vote" is not all that is required for universal suffrage, Dummy Wang.
ubifrancehk
Some CCP cadres are opposed to universal suffrage for Hong Kong ? Really ? Are you sure ? How can it be possible ? Wang Xiangwei, please go back to China Daily, thanks.
Dai Muff
That's a surprise to ... oh .... ummm .... let me see ..... absolutely no one.
Paradox314
My thoughts exactly!!
Ant Lee
Hong Kong people remember why their parents or grandparents risked their lives to leave the Chinese communist to come to British HK in the first place. No one in HK (except the uneducated lower class or the businessmen with vested interests in China) would want hong kong to be ruled by communist china.
rawlie
Pro democrat here, who wants universal suffrage as much as the next person. Just thought I'd get that out there before I get shouted down for my next comment. I spent some time working in Burma prior to the reforms in that country. Now, I understand that the situation there cannot be equated to what is happening in Hong Kong, but there is one parallel that could be applied. When Aung San Suu Kyi and her NLD party won the election in May 1990 the ruling military junta tried to negotiate a power sharing agreement, where they kept a minority position within the new parliament. The US and UK advised Suu Kyi to turn down that offer as she was the legitimate winner. Her arrest and continued military rule for the country was the outcome of that decision. The CCP fear democracy, fear one man one vote in any form, just as the Burmese generals do. One half of me would like to throw caution to the wind and fight for the preferred form of democracy. However, having worked with former political prisoners and their family and loved ones, I can't help but think that the human cost is too great.
Dai Muff
You didn't say it. "Mingbaakmei" did. My point is that they were NOT disqualified as members of political parties. And whatever you say, a system where only Beijing's favoured sons and daughters can run is not a step forward.The democrats made a range of proposals from extreme to moderate. The only lack of flexibility here comes from the other side.
Dai Muff
That is irrelevant because there is no such legal entity as a political party in Hong Kong. Not even the DAB or the Democratic Party, which register as companies. We don't officially have party politics and the CCP does not want it. And two democrats have already been allowed to run.
'If you are going to spread propaganda make it informed propaganda.

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