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DP pair to join Legco trip 57-member delegation will visit Shanghai to meet Beijing officials

2014.04.08
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THE Democratic Party (民主黨) has decided to join other pan-democratic lawmakers on a Shanghai (上海) trip this week.

But the party, which has six seats in the Legislative Council (立法會), will only send lawmakers Sin Chung-kai (單仲偕) and Helena Wong Pik-wan (黃碧雲). The pair put the total number of pan-democrats on the 12-13 April trip to 14.

The visit will include a half-day meeting with Wang Guangya (王光亞), the director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office (國務院港澳事務辦公室), and Li Fei (李飛), the chairman of the Basic Law Committee (基本法委員會), to discuss the 2017 reform.

Chairwoman Emily Lau Wai-hing (劉慧卿) said last night the party believes “Sin and Wong can represent Hong Kong people to tell [Beijing] of our aspirations for universal suffrage”.

The Democrats had been under pressure for sitting on their decision after 11 pan-democratic lawmakers – including those from the Civic Party (公民黨) and Labour Party (工黨) – jointly announced last Tuesday that they will go.

With the 14 pan-democrats, Legislative Council president Jasper Tsang Yok-sing (曾鈺成) will lead a 57-strong delegation.

Civic Party lawmaker Kwok Ka-ki (郭家麒) said, “Definitely, we will talk about a public nomination mechanism with the officials.”

In the meantime, pan-democratic lawmakers hope to find some common ground with Beijing (北京) officials when they meet.

Labour Party lawmaker Cyd Ho Sau-lan (何秀蘭) said that a lack of communication had left a wide gap between the two sides and voiced hope that the differences could be narrowed.

Ho said one reason for the gap is that Beijing officials seldom meet with pan-democrats.

“I believe there is a great divide as both sides have not communicated with each other for a long period of time,” Ho said.

“If such meetings are held regularly, we can find common ground not only in political reform but also other issues.”

For instance, such talks can be based on respective aspirations for improving the governance of Hong Kong, Ho said, starting from examining views on the weaknesses in governance.

Civic Party lawmaker Alan Leong Kah-kit (梁家傑) said it is too early to say if a consensus can be reached with Beijing.

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