Central government representatives in Hong Kong have been advised by “some in the pro-Beijing camp” that universal suffrage should only be adopted after the city passed a controversial national security bill, said a lawmaker.
Speaking after 15 Legislative Council members attended the last of the series of four breakfast meetings with liaison officers, Helena Wong Pik-wan, a Democratic Party lawmaker, said the advice would “not be tolerable from the pan-democrats’ point of view”.
Wong did not name the colleagues who came up with the idea, which called for legislation of the Basic Law’s Article 23 provision to be put into legislation, outlawing treason, sedition, secession and subversion. Such an attempt in 2003 drove 500,000 people protesting on the street, worried that their freedoms would be eroded.
Dr Liu Xinkui, the liaison office’s legal chief, would only say “there were good conversations” when questioned by reporters.
Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, the city’s chief secretary, who organised the meeting, conceded that a gap still existed between different sides but she remained optimistic it could be narrowed.
She added that Liu was “confident” that “one-man, one-vote” could take place in the city in the 2017 election for the chief executive.
Pro-Beijing lawmaker Ip Kwok-him, of the Democratic Alliance of the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, said Liu repeated the words of Zhang Dejiang, head of the Communist Party’s leading group on Hong Kong and Macau Affairs.
Zhang said this month that all arrangements related to the chief executive poll in 2017, which Beijing has said could take the form of one man one vote “shall abide by the Basic Law”.