18 November 2019
Regina Ip (L) said student leaders including Alex Chow (R) can call her to help arrange a meeting with Beijing officials.
Regina Ip (L) said student leaders including Alex Chow (R) can call her to help arrange a meeting with Beijing officials.

Students can call me to meet Beijing officials, Regina Ip says

Regina Ip, chairwoman of the New People’s Party, said student leaders of the Occupy campaign can contact her for a meeting with the central government’s liaison office in Hong Kong which will then arrange a meeting with Beijing officials.

“All of our visits to Beijing have been arranged by them [liaison office],” Ming Pao Daily quoted Ip as saying.

“[Former chief executive] Tung Chee-hwa is quite busy. He has to visit the United States frequently and he is also busy setting up a think tank.” 

She said a meeting between the students and Wang Guangya, the director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, is “appropriate”, rather than with high-level officials like Premier Li Keqiang.

Wang is a very senior official and is responsible for Hong Kong affairs, Ip said.

The former security chief earlier suggested that the Hong Kong Federation of Students be represented in the nominating committee that will choose the candidates for chief executive in the 2017 election.

But “if they insist on demanding the withdrawal of the framework set by the National People’s Congress, that would be unrealistic”, Ip said.

HKFS secretary-general Alex Chow insisted that a visit to the capital is necessary for the students to “directly express their views and the reality to the central government”, noting that the Hong Kong government and the Liaison Office have failed to communicate their ideas to Beijing in the past.

As such, student leaders prefer not to ask the Liaison Office for help to arrange the meeting.

Chow said it is possible for the students to visit Beijing and call for genuine universal suffrage as some members of the pro-establishment camp have recently offered to help.

“Some pro-establishment legislators said they are willing to arrange a dialogue for us, and it’s quite possible for the visit to kick off,” Chow was quoted as saying in a RTHK report.

If Beijing agrees, Chow and HKFS general secretary Eason Chung will be part of the delegation, along with other participants, he added.

The student group has tried to contact Tung Chee-hwa and National People’s Congress deputy Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai to help arrange the meeting. 

Chow added that even if no one offers help to arrange the meeting, students will still visit Beijing.

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Freelance journalist