Date
22 November 2017
National People's Congress Standing Committee member Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai expects Beijing's framework for political reform in Hong Kong will be passed by the Chinese lawmaking body on Sunday. Photo: CNSA
National People's Congress Standing Committee member Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai expects Beijing's framework for political reform in Hong Kong will be passed by the Chinese lawmaking body on Sunday. Photo: CNSA

Rita Fan sees no change in August 31 decision in five years

People who still hope that Beijing’s decision on universal suffrage in Hong Kong can be overturned are living in their own world, National People’s Congress Standing Committee member Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai said.

Fan said she personally does not see the committee’s Aug. 31 decision being overturned or changed drastically in the coming five years, Ming Pao Daily reported.

“I cannot say for sure how the situation would be in 10, 15 years’ time,” she added.

She urged pan-democrats to table proposals for discussions, rather than reject the proposals tabled by the government.

Earlier this week, NPCSC chairman Zhang Dejiang reaffirmed that the committee’s decision on Aug. 31 “carried important meanings” and “laid out the principles and directions for universal suffrage” in the territory.

Fan said she expects NPCSC chairman Zhang Dejiang’s work report will be passed by the lawmaking body on Sunday as no one has proposed any revisions to the committee’s decision during the deliberations.

When Zhang mentioned universal suffrage in his report, the applause from the audience was louder than for any other part of his speech, Fan said.

Based on that observation, she said she feels that representatives from various provinces and cities are largely in support of the Aug. 31 decision.

Civic Party chief Alan Leong said the pan-democratic camp has put forward over 10 proposals and sought public views through referendums, yet all these efforts attracted no response from the central government.

Legislator Lee Cheuk-yan from the Labour Party said the NPCSC decision is patently unconstitutional, leaving no room for discussion.

Meanwhile, Legislative Council president Jasper Tsang Yok-sing warned that there might be large-scale protests by the young generation this summer. 

In an interview with Japanese broadcaster NHK, Tsang urged the government to seek understanding from the students on the universal suffrage proposal.

He said that although Beijing designs the framework for political reform in Hong Kong, it is possible that election methods more democratic than the one proposed could be rolled out.

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EL/AC/CG

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