Date
24 August 2017
Beijing has reiterated that anyone aspiring for the chief executive post in Hong Kong must be 'patriotic' toward the motherland. Photo: HKEJ
Beijing has reiterated that anyone aspiring for the chief executive post in Hong Kong must be 'patriotic' toward the motherland. Photo: HKEJ

Fresh signal from Beijing on tough line toward HK election

A major Chinese official media organ has reiterated Beijing’s stance that a key requirement for anyone seeking the top political post in Hong Kong is that the person should be patriotic toward the mainland.

In an op-ed published over the weekend, the overseas edition of People’s Daily asserted that Hong Kong’s chief executive must be patriotic toward both China and Hong Kong, Apple Daily reported.

In the same article, the Communist Party mouthpiece also affirmed the need for legislation of the Basic Law Article 23, which deals with national security, the report said.

The op-ed, written by Professor Zhang Dinghuai from the research center at Shenzhen University, discusses issues related to the Basic Laws of Hong Kong and Macau. In the article, Zhang said public nomination of candidates for the chief executive election can come only after the Article 23 legislation. Otherwise, it will endanger China’s national security and interests, he wrote.

He also said that chief executive candidates must be acceptable to all parties.

Zhang argued that the existing political scene in Hong Kong, which he said is divided into two camps — those supporting and opposing the central government —  will only cause damage.

Patriotism requirement is non-negotiable, he said, adding that the central government cannot make any concession on this front.

When asked if the Article 23 legislation can be taken up now, Basic Law Committee Member Lau Nai-keung told Apple Daily that Hong Kong has enough headaches already on the issue of political reform, so it may not be the ideal time to initiate discussion on the controversial national security law.

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