Director Wang Zhimin of Beijing’s liaison office is set to attend today’s luncheon of the Legislative Council at the invitation of Legco president Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen.
At least eight pan-democratic lawmakers are also said to be attending the event.
They include Democratic Party chairman Wu Chi-wai, his partymate Helena Wong Pik-wan, Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu of the Civic Party and his partymate Dennis Kwok Wing-hang, who is also of the Professional Guild.
Also expected to attend the luncheon are Charles Mok Nai-kwong and Kenneth Leung Kai-cheong, of the Professional Guild, and Ip Kin-yuen representing the education sector.
Gary Fan Kwok-wai of the Neo Democrats is also reportedly joining the luncheon.
Earlier on, Alvin Yeung said he didn’t have high hopes for the luncheon but would still seize the opportunity to raise his party’s concern about the “one country, two systems” principle with Wang.
Fan, on the other hand, said he is going to present Wang with a Chinese ink wash painting to express his deep concern about the liaison office’s continued interference in Hong Kong’s local affairs.
Back in July 2013, the former liaison office director Zhang Xiaoming also attended the annual Legco luncheon. The atmosphere then was rather tense and unfriendly.
However, as some in the pro-establishment camp pointed out, no matter what kind of publicity stunts the pan-dems are going to pull at the luncheon this time, they are confident that Wang would be able to handle with ease.
Wang, they said, is a “battle-hardened” official who had been working in Hong Kong for more than 10 years before he was appointed as the new liaison office director, not to mention that he is even more “leftist” and conservative than his predecessor.
As such, they believe he won’t be afraid of any protest to be staged by the pan-dems, both inside and outside the venue.
Besides, not all pan-dems are hostile to Wang. It is said that some moderate pan-dems are actually glad and looking forward to meeting with Wang and other officials from the liaison office.
It is also said that some pan-dems requested that they be seated at the same table with some officials of the liaison office so that they can have some dialogue.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on April 11
Translation by Alan Lee
[Chinese version 中文版]
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