Date
18 December 2017
President Xi Jinping (left) says walking away from 'one country, two systems' is like 'wearing a right shoe on the left foot', but Albert Ho says Beijing should not give only left shoes to Hong Kong. Photos: AFP, HKEJ
President Xi Jinping (left) says walking away from 'one country, two systems' is like 'wearing a right shoe on the left foot', but Albert Ho says Beijing should not give only left shoes to Hong Kong. Photos: AFP, HKEJ

Beijing giving Hong Kong shoes that don’t fit: Albert Ho

Since the handover in 1997, the central and Hong Kong governments have given the city shoes that don’t fit, Democratic Party lawmaker Albert Ho said, referring to their policies.

He was responding Tuesday to a remark by President Xi Jinping during Xi’s visit to Macau on Dec. 19 to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the return of the Portuguese colony to China.

Xi said Macau and Hong Kong must strictly stick with the “one country, two systems” principle, otherwise, the two special administrative regions will be “wearing the right shoe on the left foot” and face a lot of trouble.

In a report Wednesday, Apple Daily quoted Ho as saying the failure of the Hong Kong administration is not caused by Hongkongers but Beijing, which applies only extreme leftist policies to the city.

“If Beijing gives only left shoes to Hong Kong, how can they fit our feet and allow us to walk smoothly?” Ho said.

He said genuine universal suffrage is needed to force the Hong Kong government to improve the people’s livelihood. 

Citing a survey by the Public Opinion Program of the University of Hong Kong, Ho said about 45 percent of respondents agreed that Beijing’s election reform proposal is fake universal suffrage, while 23 percent agreed “half-half”.

About 23 percent of respondents disagreed with the statement.

Tam Yiu-chung, chairman of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, said Xi’s remarks suggested Beijing is still determined to push for political reform in the city under the framework of the Basic Law even after people protested in the streets, the newspaper reported.

Democratic Party chairwoman Emily Lau Wai-hing said the principles of “one country, two systems” and “high degree of autonomy” for Hong Kong have failed to be realized in Beijing’s political reform proposal for the city.

Lau said the Hong Kong government should restart the reform and consult the people of Hong Kong.

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TL/JP/FL

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