Date
29 March 2017
Jasper Tsang (inset) says Beijing condemns separatism but adds that it should not be confused with localism which is 'good for Hong Kong'. Photo: Bloomberg, CNSA
Jasper Tsang (inset) says Beijing condemns separatism but adds that it should not be confused with localism which is 'good for Hong Kong'. Photo: Bloomberg, CNSA

Tsang: Beijing using back channels to probe Mong Kok violence

Officials in Beijing are using multiple channels to try to get to the bottom of the Feb. 9 Mong Kok clashes.

Even so, they are satisfied with the handling of the violence by the Hong Kong government, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports, citing Legislative Council President Jasper Tsang.

A proposal to set up an independent investigation committee was voted down by lawmakers last week.

Tsang said Beijing’s use of back channels to determine the underlying causes of the Lunar New Year’s Day violence is “natural” and does not mean it has problems with the official version of the Hong Kong government.

The government described the clashes as a riot shortly after violence broke out when protesters fought with police trying to clear the streets of illegal hawkers.  

Tsang said the government’s decision not to conduct its own inquiry at this time might have been due to its desire to move things one step at a time.

He said such inquiries involve multiple stages.

Tsang did not say if Beijing supports Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying over his handling of the clashes, only that senior officials are concerned about their impact on “one country, two systems” and social stability.

He said Beijing condemns separatism but added it should not be confused with localism which is “good for Hong Kong”.

The former attracts only a handful of people while the latter has broad support from the populace which wants to preserve Hong Kong’s unique advantages, Tsang said.

– Contact us at [email protected]

TL/AC/RA

EJI Weekly Newsletter

Please click here to unsubscribe