Advocates of an end to one-party rule and separation of powers in China are regarded by Beijing as confrontationists, a Hong Kong lawmaker on Wednesday quoted an unspecified mainland official as saying.
Michael Tien Puk-sun said he learnt these details from a mainland official who met with Hong Kong pro-government politicians in a seminar on Sunday, where Beijing’s criteria for candidates wishing to run for Hong Kong’s chief executive in 2017 were discussed.
Tien, a member of the Legislative Council and vice-chairman of the pro-government New People’s Party, did not identify the official. He said he telephoned the official after Sunday’s meeting, which Tien participated in.
In Sunday’s closed-door seminar in Shenzhen, Qiao Xiaoyang, chairman of the Law Committee under the National People’s Congress, told about 40 Hong Kong legislators that people who insist on confronting the central government are ineligible candidates for the position of chief executive.
Qiao’s remarks appeared to be an attempt to set the tone for an increasingly intense debate on how Hong Kong will introduce universal suffrage as the method for electing the chief executive in 2017. In previous elections the chief executive was elected by a chief executive election committee dominated by pro-Beijing politicians and business people.
On Wednesday, Tien said the mainland official that he telephoned laid out more details of what constituted confrontation in the eyes of Beijing.
Tien quoted the official as saying it meant “opposing China’s political system”, such as calling for the end of one-party rule.
“I asked the official whether someone is a confrontationist if he has, through words or actions, sought to change the system of one-party rule in China. The official answered yes,” Tien said.
Advocating separation of powers and establishment of a western-style democracy were also regarded by Beijing as confrontational, Tien quoted the official as saying.
He said that, according to the mainland official, critics of the central government or people who hold dissident views on “individual matters”, such as the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown and the death of human right activist Li Wangyang, were not regarded as Beijing’s opponents.