Date
17 November 2017
Chan Yuen-han (inset) says the ball is in Beijing's court on Hong Kong political reform. Her comments came after NPC chairman Zhang Dejiang (right) said passage of the election reform proposal is a must. Photos: HKEJ, Xinhua
Chan Yuen-han (inset) says the ball is in Beijing's court on Hong Kong political reform. Her comments came after NPC chairman Zhang Dejiang (right) said passage of the election reform proposal is a must. Photos: HKEJ, Xinhua

Beijing urged to show openness to dialogue

Beijing should show openness to dialogue if it wants to resolve a deadlock over Hong Kong political reform.

China’s central authorities and Hong Kong pan-democrats should step back from their hardline positions, pro-establishment lawmaker Chan Yuen-han said.

Chan, who represents the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions, made the remarks in an interview with Apple Daily.

“The ball is in Beijing’s court,” she said, comparing the standoff to a football scrimmage where players are hurt by refusing to budge.

Beijing should clearly state that there will be further fine-tuning of the election framework after 2017 to give pan-democrats room to reconsider their decision to vote against the proposal, she said.

“It’s not the time for the two sides to criticize each other. It’s time to sit down and talk.”

Also, she said Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying should bear some responsibility for the deadlock because of his tough stance against pan-democrats.

Chan said “it depends” when asked if she would support Leung in a second run for chief executive.

In an Aug. 31, 2014 decision, the National People’s Congress said the 2017 chief executive election should have two or three candidates who will be chosen by a 1,600-member panel.

Each of them must have the support of at least 50 percent of its members in order to be nominated as a candidate for chief executive after which they will be voted by direct election.

The 2017 panel is an expanded version of the 1,200-member election committee that anointed Leung in 2012.

Pan-democrats are calling the process fake universal suffrage because it gives Beijing too much influence on who gets to be nominated.

Last year, hundreds of thousands of democracy protesters occupied major streets for 79 days to press for genuine universal suffrage.

NPC chairman Zhang Dejiang said this month that passage of the election reform bill is a must.

However, there has been no sign Beijing is willing to do its part to make that happen.

The Hong Kong government is expected to announce details of the proposal in April after a second round of public consultation which ends this month.

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JP/RA

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