Date
20 November 2017
Beijing's liaison office in Hong Kong was involved in a a signature drive against the Occupy Central pro-democracy movement, according to a report. Photo: HKEJ
Beijing's liaison office in Hong Kong was involved in a a signature drive against the Occupy Central pro-democracy movement, according to a report. Photo: HKEJ

Liaison Office said to solicit anti-Occupy Central signatures

The central government’s Liaison Office in Hong Kong is said to have asked mainland students who are applying to study in the city to fill out a form expressing their disapproval of the Occupy Central Movement, Ming Pao Daily News reported Friday.

The form is part of a signature collection drive initiated by the recently convened “Safeguard Suffrage for Chief Executive, Oppose Occupy Central Movement”, it said.

The group’s founder Robert Chow said they have many co-operating agencies and associations, which will help disseminate the signature forms. But he did not confirm if the Liaison Office of the central government is one of them, the paper said.

According to Ming Pao reporters who visited the Liaison Office on Thursday, not all visiting students were handed the signature form. A student surnamed Peng from Guangdong province said she was surprised at seeing the form, but nevertheless signed as she thought it was part of the application process.

Another mainland student surnamed Sun said she signed the form as she is against the use of violent tactics in the quest for universal suffrage. She felt it is ok that such forms were handed to students, as it is not a compulsory measure. “The application will still be processed even if you opt not to sign on the form,” Sun added.

Staff at the Liaison Office denied that all students must fill out the form in order to receive their certification of study in Hong Kong, and insisted that the forms were not handed to students. Reporters said staff have later stopped distributing the form.

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