National security should be among the considerations before Hong Kong mulls any political reform or changes in its electoral system, according to the central government’s top representative in the city.
Zhang Xiaoming, director of Beijing’s liaison office in Hong Kong, said efforts must be made to ensure that some people do not use democracy as a pretext to turn Hong Kong into a base of subversion against central authorities.
China is a rising power and not everyone is happy to see that, Zhang said on Thursday, according to the Hong Kong Economic Journal.
“Some powers in the world are seeking every possible way to block and restrain China’s development, and constantly make trouble for us,” he said.
Zhang invoked the words of late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping to support his thoughts.
“Will things that undermine basic national interests happen in the special administrative regions? If that really happens, should Beijing intervene?” he said.
“If the central government gives up all its powers, there could be riots and chaos that would hurt Hong Kong’s interests,” Zhang added.
But the official stressed that Beijing’s “one country, two systems” policy on Hong Kong will not change even if universal suffrage cannot be achieved in the 2017 chief executive election.
“No matter the political reform package gets through the legislative council or not… the central government will still insist on the ‘one country, two systems’ principle”, he said.
However, Zhang emphasized that it is necessary that the person holding the chief executive post should be patriotic towards the motherland.
The comments came in the wake of concerns over the State Council’s recent white paper on Hong Kong. The policy document stressed that China has complete jurisdiction over Hong Kong and that the central government is the source of the city’s autonomy.
Lawmaker Wong Kwok-kin said Zhang’s words can provide some reassurance to Hong Kong people.
But pan-democratic lawmakers Albert Ho and Alan Leong felt Zhang maintained a strong stance. They urged the mainland official to arrange dialogues between the pan-democrats and the central government as soon as possible.
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