Date
23 November 2017
Benny Tai (in green shirt) joins some pro-reforms lawmakers in a walk Sunday in Hong Kong to seek support for a civil disobedience campaign. 
Photo: HKEJ
Benny Tai (in green shirt) joins some pro-reforms lawmakers in a walk Sunday in Hong Kong to seek support for a civil disobedience campaign. Photo: HKEJ

Rigid stance from Beijing will only fuel HK protests: Benny Tai

A rigid stance by the central government on matters pertaining to the 2017 chief executive election will only make Hong Kong people more determined to participate in civil disobedience activities, said Benny Tai, a founder of the Occupy Central group that is fighting for electoral reforms in the city. 

Responding to comments by Li Fei, Deputy Secretary General of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, who said that tolerating civil disobedience in the initial stage will only lead to even larger disturbances later, Tai said the mainland official’s logic was flawed.

In fact, the more strong stand that Beijing takes on the 2017 election, the more determined will Hong Kong people be to participate in civil disobedience activities, Tai said, according to a Radio Television Hong Kong report Sunday.

Tai described civil disobedience as sounding an alarm over deep social discontent. It won’t help if authorities try to suppress such activities, he said.

Executive Council convenor Lam Woon-kwong said he hopes the central government will offer Hong Kong people more confidence on the subject of political reform.

Lam said he never supported the Occupy Central movement, but he does not see the need to prove his position by signing up the petition form against the movement.

The most important thing is to find a way out for Hong Kong’s future, he said, adding that talks can only progress if both sides adopt a mutually accommodating way of thinking.

Henry Tang, a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, said he hopes a decision by the National People’s Congress will allow a buffer for more discussions among the local community.

Tang said it would be a huge loss for Hong Kong if the political reform proposal is not passed at the Legislative Council. If the universal suffrage proposal reaches a deadlock, the central government, the Hong Kong administration and the legislative council will all be responsible, Tang added.

Related stories:

Police conduct drills against Occupy Central

Beijing won’t cave in to any radical movement, Li Fei says

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