Fears led to release of Deng's remarks: executive councillor The release of Deng Xiaoping's remarks on universal suffrage last month by Xinhua showed Beijing was worried about the outcome of September's Legislative Council elections, an executive councillor said yesterday. The China Daily also warned yesterday that the election results could lead to the government's collapse, as well as challenging Beijing and national security. Speaking on a radio programme, Executive Councillor Cheng Yiu-tong said the protest march last July 1 and the shelving of the national security bill had caused Beijing to worry that people who would damage the central government and the nation might be elected to the legislature. 'What will Hong Kong become in the future? Will it become an independent political entity to confront Beijing? It's a question which the central government is very worried about,' he said. People could decide at the ballot box if they wanted harmonious or confrontational relations with Beijing. In its latest editorial on the city's constitutional development, the China Daily said 'certain legislators' had blatantly ignored statements by central government leaders reinforcing the principles of the Basic Law. 'They have perceived Beijing's restrained and observant approach as a sign of weakness and have misled the public with emotive advertising and misinterpretations of the Basic Law,' it said. 'If those who try to use democracy to exclude the Communist Party of China and 'respect Taiwan self-determination' take the majority of seats in Legco, Hong Kong's executive-led government will collapse and the central authority and national security will be severely challenged.' Johnny Lau Yui-siu, an observer of mainland affairs, said Beijing's propaganda machinery had been selective with Deng's remarks. 'Xinhua and other state media just pick what they think is useful to achieve their political goal. I think some of the views by Deng have been distorted,' he said. While a Xinhua article on Sunday by former basic law drafter Xu Chongde quoted Deng as saying universal suffrage might not be best for Hong Kong, South China Morning Post research has found the late leader did not rule it out. In his April 16, 1987, speech Deng also said 'Not long ago, the Governor of Hong Kong, Sir David Wilson, said that things should be done gradually, a view that I think is realistic. Even if a general election were to be held, there would have to be a transition period, and preparations for the election would have to be made step by step.' But Deng did warn against Hong Kong being turned into an opposition base: 'After 1997 we shall still allow Hong Kong people to criticise the Chinese Communist Party and China, but what if they should turn their words into action, trying to convert Hong Kong into a base of opposition to the mainland under the pretext of democracy? Then we would have no choice but to intervene.'