Date
14 November 2018
Wang Zhimin, Beijing’s top representative in Hong Kong, has said he would like to invite all Hong Kong lawmakers to a gathering at his office, but there has been no progress so far on such an event. Photos: Bloomberg, CNSA
Wang Zhimin, Beijing’s top representative in Hong Kong, has said he would like to invite all Hong Kong lawmakers to a gathering at his office, but there has been no progress so far on such an event. Photos: Bloomberg, CNSA

Pan-dems have other priorities now than a trip to Liaison Office

In April, the Legislative Council invited Wang Zhimin, director of Beijing’s liaison office, to a luncheon.

Shortly after the event, Wang publicly said that he would, in return, like to invite all lawmakers, cutting across the political spectrum, to a gathering at the liaison office.

Yet his invitation has gone unanswered since then, and neither the liaison office nor Legco has taken any further step to arrange the trip.

Earlier on, when asked by the media as to when such gathering would take place, Legco President Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen proposed that October would present an ideal opportunity for the event to happen.

However, Leung’s suggestion is said to have got a very lukewarm response from the pan-democrats.

A pan-dem lawmaker told us that as Legco is taking its summer break right now, the pan-dems have only exchanged their views over the matter briefly on their Whatsapp group, and haven’t seriously discussed it at all.

This lawmaker went on to say that the Legco president might be keen on fixing a date for the gathering, but the truth is, they couldn’t care less at this point about going for a party at the liaison office.

Besides, the person frankly said that even if the pan-dems did want to get together with Wang, they wouldn’t need Leung to line things up for them.

“It isn’t the Legco president’s job to arrange for lunches under both the Basic Law and the Legco Rules of Procedure. Leung should stay more focused on his official duties,” the lawmaker said.

Other members of the pro-democracy camp also said that over the next few months their groups would be focused on only one thing: gearing up for the by-election in Kowloon West in November.

Moreover, there are a lot of uncertainties lying ahead, for instance, how the government’s proposed ban on the Hong Kong National Party is going to play out, and whether ousted lawmaker Lau Siu-lai is going to once again be barred from running in the by-election.

Already having their hands full, the pan-dems just don’t see why they should bother with any other less important matter for now.

Meanwhile, some in the local political circles have described Wang as being more “skillful” when it comes to weighing in on the internal affairs of Hong Kong, compared to his predecessor.

For example, ever since he took office, Wang has on numerous occasions elucidated Hong Kong’s subordination to the central government in no uncertain terms from a constitutional perspective.

And then most recently, Wang Zhenmin, director-general of the legal department of the liaison office, went even further by arguing that the constitution of China is applicable to Hong Kong.

Some pan-dems said they would definitely take Wang Zhenmin to task for his highly controversial remarks when they meet liaison office director Wang Zhimin someday, but it won’t happen at least until after the upcoming Legco by-election.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on July 30

Translation by Alan Lee

[Chinese version 中文版]

– Contact us at [email protected]

JC/RC

Columnist of Hong Kong Economic Journal.

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