Date
17 October 2017
Rita Fan (left) says Beijing will not back down to Occupy Central's threat of civil disobedience. Occupy Central co-founder Benny Tai (right) is accusing Beijing of ratcheting up a propaganda war on the civil disobedience group. Photo: HKEJ
Rita Fan (left) says Beijing will not back down to Occupy Central's threat of civil disobedience. Occupy Central co-founder Benny Tai (right) is accusing Beijing of ratcheting up a propaganda war on the civil disobedience group. Photo: HKEJ

NPC decision on electoral reform out Sunday, HK briefing set

China’s legislature is expected to announce on Aug. 31 a political reform proposal for Hong Kong’s 2017 chief executive election, Ming Pao Daily reported Tuesday.   

The National People’s Congress (NPC) will begin a review of the proposal Tuesday, the start of a week-long meeting, and announce its decision on Sunday.

Li Fei, deputy secretary general of the NPC standing committee, and other Beijing officials will then visit Hong Kong to brief legislators, the three founders of Occupy Central and members of the community.

Occupy Central co-founder Benny Tai said he will attend the briefing unless the central government has already made up its mind about requiring candidates to secure the support of more than half of the nominating committee and limiting the number of aspirants.

Tai’s comments came after Rita Fan, a delegate to the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, criticized him and said the central government will not back down to Occupy Central’s threat of civil disobedience.

In fact, Hong Kong has no standing to negotiate with the central government, Fan was quoted as saying.

Tai accused Beijing of ramping up a propaganda war on Occupy Central, starting with Rita Fan’s critical comments against him.

He said the movement is not intended to blackmail Beijing but merely to remind Hong Kong people, much like warning people if there is a fire.

Labor Party chief Lee Cheuk-yan said it is meaningless to attend Li Fei’s briefing unless there are better reasons to go, such as to protest.

He criticized the treatment of the 70 members of Hong Kong’s legislators as mere attendees, saying they are the representatives of Hong Kong people.

And Chow Wing-hong, general secretary of the Hong Kong Federation of Students, accused Fan of being out of touch with the people about governance issues which he said prompted 720,000 people to vote in a mock referendum on electoral reform and inspired them to join a sit-in protest in Central after the July 1 pro-democracy march.

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