Date
16 October 2017
Vice President Li Yuanchao (inset) tells a Hong Kong delegation that Beijing expects the city's next leader will be elected through universal suffrage in 2017. Photos: Xinhua, TVB
Vice President Li Yuanchao (inset) tells a Hong Kong delegation that Beijing expects the city's next leader will be elected through universal suffrage in 2017. Photos: Xinhua, TVB

Vice President Li urges HK people to back electoral reform plan

China’s Vice President Li Yuanchao told a Hong Kong delegation that the election of the city’s next leader through universal suffrage in 2017 is the genuine hope of the central government and the common wish of most Hong Kong citizens.

All members of the Hong Kong society should grasp the historic opportunity and take a positive, rational and pragmatic attitude to promote the territory’s march toward democracy as well as greater prosperity and stability, Li told members of the New Territories Association of Societies who paid him a visit in Beijing, Apple Daily reported Tuesday.

The Hong Kong government is set to unveil its political reform plan for the 2017 election on Wednesday, but pan-democrat lawmakers have vowed to reject it.

President Xi Jinping has stressed that political reform and the 2017 election must be conducted according to the Constitution, the Basic Law and the decisions made by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee on August 31 last year, Brave Chan, the association’s chairman, quoted Li as saying during the meeting.

Li also said he hopes people in the patriotic camp can urge citizens to support the government’s electoral reform package, according to Starry Lee, chairwoman of the pro-Beijing Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong who also serves as honorary adviser of the association.

Wang Guangya, director of the State Council’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, was quoted by Chan as saying that Beijing will stick to its bottom line without any concessions because the guiding principles behind the political reform package remain unchanged.

Meanwhile, legislator Emily Lau, who is also chairwoman of the Democratic Party, said the door of communications with Beijing is open under the premise that the election framework set by the NPC Standing Committee must be revised.

Labour Party leader Lee Cheuk-yan said the pan-democratic camp also allows no room for concession and rejects the “take it first, improve it later” argument in favor of the government’s electoral reform plan. 

Lee said said any dialogue with Beijing under the NPC framework would be fruitless.

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TL/AC/CG

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