Date
19 October 2017
Vice President Li Yuanchao welcomes a youth delegation from Hong Kong. He said young Hong Kong people should deepen their understanding of rule of law. Photo: Xinhua
Vice President Li Yuanchao welcomes a youth delegation from Hong Kong. He said young Hong Kong people should deepen their understanding of rule of law. Photo: Xinhua

China unmoved by protest, mock poll numbers

China’s most senior liaison official in Hong Kong said Beijing will not change its stance on the 2017 chief executive election after a pro-democracy march Tuesday drew a record 510,000 people.

The march came just days after more than 780,000 voters turned out for a mock referendum on electoral reform.  

In both instances, participants demanded genuine suffrage and public nomination of candidates for chief executive. Beijing prefers screening by a nominating committee. 

Zhang Xiaoming, chief of Beijing’s liaison office in Hong Kong, said he respects Hong Kong people’s right to participate in demonstrations but stressed China will not be swayed by the numbers from the July 1 march and the unofficial referendum, Apple Daily reported.

Earlier, Zhang’s office said in a statement that the referendum violates the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s mini constitution.

Meanwhile Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao told a visiting Hong Kong youth delegation led by Secretary of Education Eddie Ng that the successful implementation of “one country, two systems” in Hong Kong is widely recognized worldwide.

He said Hong Kong’s young people should strengthen their understanding of rule of law and support the gradual implementation of political reform.

State media briefly reported the march, saying 92,000 people had taken part, citing Hong Kong government figures.

In a commentary Tuesday, state news agency Xinhua said any expression of public views must abide by the law and should not disrupt social order.

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