Beijing warned over hard stance

PAN-DEMOCRATS have warned that Beijing’s (北京) inflexible stance on political reform in Hong Kong will tear society further apart.

The Democratic Party’s (民主黨) Wu Chi-wai (胡志偉) said on Monday that claims by Beijing officials that how he and his fellow pan-democratic lawmakers went in an upcoming vote on the government’s reform package would show whether they support the principle of “one country, two systems” only serves to radicalise their parties.

This came after pan-democrats met Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office director (國務院港澳辦主任) Wang Guangya (王光亞), Basic Law Committee chairman (基本法委員會主任 ) Li Fei (李飛) and central government liaison office director (中聯辦主任) Zhang Xiaoming (張曉明) in Shenzhen (深圳) on Sunday.

Wang described most pan-democrats as friends who agreed with the principles underlying “one country, two systems”, the constitution as well as the Basic Law. But he said there is a minority who think Hong Kong is an independent political regime that can challenge the Communist Party (共產黨).

Li said how lawmakers vote will be a litmus test of whether to support or oppose “one country, two systems” and the mini-constitution.

Wu said, “With this logic, the officials’ remarks meant even if you are a moderate pan-democrat, you will still become the target of a Beijing crackdown if you vote against the reform proposal. It will further tear Hong Kong society apart.”

The Civic Party’s (公民黨) Ronny Tong Ka-wah (湯家驊) said, “For the medium and short-term interests of Hong Kong, it will be more conducive to Hong Kong for the reform to be voted down.”

Executive Council (行政會議) member Cheng Yiu-tong (鄭耀棠) likened the pan-democrats to a “cooked duck” with its hard beak, meaning they were firm only in words, not actions.

(The Standard, Eddie Luk, 2 June 2015)