Date
18 January 2017
Zhang Dejiang is in Hong Kong to deliver a speech at the Belt and Road Summit. He will meet pan-democrats and other lawmakers at a cocktail reception. Photo: CNSA
Zhang Dejiang is in Hong Kong to deliver a speech at the Belt and Road Summit. He will meet pan-democrats and other lawmakers at a cocktail reception. Photo: CNSA

Democrats to seek relaunch of political reform with Zhang

Pan-democrats say they are ready to discuss Hong Kong’s post-2047 future with Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the National People’s Congress standing committee.

Zhang is on a three-day visit to Hong Kong starting Tuesday. He is scheduled to deliver a speech at the Belt and Road Summit on Wednesday and meet top democrats and pro-Beijing lawmakers at a cocktail reception.

Civic Party leader Alan Leong, one of four pan-democrats attending the function, told the Hong Kong Economic Journal they plan to hand a letter to Zhang in which they will propose a Hong Kong affairs conference which will tackle issues relating to the expiry of “one country, two systems” in 2047.

Leong said the idea is borrowed from Taiwan’s national affairs conference in 1990 which drew all of the island’s parties to discuss political reform.

He said his group’s proposal could pave the way for smoother relations between Beijing and Hong Kong.

The conference should be held after the Legislative Council elections and should be called to tackle specific issues instead of being held regularly, he said.

Meanwhile, Democratic Party leader Emily Lau will propose regular communication between Beijing and Hong Kong in a separate letter.

Also, she will mention governance issues and propose the relaunch of political reform regarding how the Hong Kong chief executive should be elected, she said.

Liberal Party chairman Felix Chung said the party will give an evaluation of Leung’s performance.

Pan-democrats will outline their proposals at a press conference on Tuesday, Labor Party lawmaker Cyd Ho said .

These include a new leader in the next government, relaunch of political reform and giving Hong Kong the right to approve applications for one-way permits.

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