Date
18 December 2017
Zhang Dejiang says the universal suffrage package proposed by Beijing has the support of most Hong Kong people. Photo: Now TV
Zhang Dejiang says the universal suffrage package proposed by Beijing has the support of most Hong Kong people. Photo: Now TV

Beijing’s roadmap for HK ‘cannot be challenged’: Zhang Dejiang

Beijing won’t cave in to any radical group or movement that seeks to put pressure with regard to the framework for the Hong Kong chief executive election, a top mainland official said.

Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, said on Tuesday that Beijing’s decision on Hong Kong’s political reform framework has the “highest constitutional power” and that it “cannot be challenged”, RTHK reported Tuesday.

During a meeting in Beijing with members of the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions (FTU), Zhang stressed that the decision on Hong Kong has the backing of most of the residents of Hong Kong.

The election framework has been mapped out very carefully and it “completely complies with the Basic Law,” the official said. The roadmap was “tailored to Hong Kong’s actual [situation], and fully shows the central government’s sincerity about advancing Hong Kong’s democratic development in accordance with the Basic Law and in an orderly and gradual manner”, he said.

The decision “cannot be challenged or overturned”, and Beijing won’t change its mind even if there is a threat of protests from radicals, Zhang said.

Wong Kwok-kin, vice-chairman of the FTU, also quoted Zhang as saying that Beijing is quite “optimistic” that the framework will be passed, and hoping that pan-democratic legislators would act in the best interests of Hong Kong.

If the pan-democrats veto the government’s political reform package next year, they would be held responsible for depriving Hong Kong people of their chance to elect their own leader in 2017, Wong quoted Zhang as saying.

Lam Suk-yee, president of the pro-Beijing FTU, said Zhang has repeatedly stressed that the 2017 chief executive election would be a “big step” in democratic progress. The official urged all parties to express their views in the second round of consultation, paving way for the reform plan to be passed in the Legislative Council, Ming Pao reported.

All 27 pan-democratic lawmakers had earlier pledged to reject any political reform proposal that follows the restrictive conditions laid down by Beijing.

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JZ/JP/RC

Freelance journalist

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