With the universal suffrage framework unveiled, some business and political groups from Hong Kong have been invited to visit Beijing this month.
Among them will be a delegation of business leaders led by Tung Chee-hwa, Hong Kong’s former chief executive and current vice-chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Ming Pao Daily reported Wednesday.
The delegation includes Li Ka-shing, chairman of Cheung Kong Holdings; Lee Shau-kee, chairman of Henderson Land; Cheng Kar-shun, chairman of New World Development and Robert Kuok, chairman of Kerry Group.
The central government said that “hopefully” all of the major business leaders could come to Beijing between September 21 and 23.
President Xi Jinping and National People’s Congress (NPC) chairman Zhang Dejiang are expected to meet the visitors on September 22, the report said.
Beijing had sent similar invitations to Hong Kong’s business and political circles in 2003 after the SARS epidemic eased.
However, it is a little different this time as the invitations are not limited to tycoons and their sons but also leaders in professional fields, showing Beijing wants to expand its scope of united front work, an unnamed person familiar with the matter said.
Legislator Wong Kwok-kin, who is the chairman of the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions, said Beijing’s rapprochement is meant to stabilize Hong Kong society after the NPC Standing Committee’s ruling on the framework for the 2017 chief executive election. The move is also a chance for Beijing to exhort people from all walks of life to support Hong Kong’s government, chief executive and political reform.
Lo Wai-wok, chairman of the Hong Kong Professionals and Senior Executives Association, said the visit will offer an opportunity to discuss political reform with Beijing officials.
A delegation from the Chinese Manufacturers’ Association of Hong Kong left for Beijing on Tuesday. Delegates of other pro-Beijing groups are expected to follow.
Tycoons invited to Beijing: It’s politics as usual
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