Xi heads new group in charge of Hong Kong affairs

April 19, 2018 12:51
President Xi Jinping chairs a new group in charge of overseeing Beijing’s policies on Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, pro-Beijing sources said. Photo: Xinhua

According to the latest media reports, the recently appointed member of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China and Vice Premier Han Zheng is going to lead the Central Coordination Group for Hong Kong and Macau Affairs.

However, sources from the pro-establishment camp believe that this doesn’t mean Han is going to have the final word on Hong Kong and Macau affairs.

The latest information they have received is that another group at an even higher level is charged with overseeing Beijing’s policies on Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, and that President Xi Jinping is personally chairing this new group.

In other words, Xi will remain the big boss of Hong Kong. 

The new group is said to have held its first meeting recently. As to why Xi has decided to establish a superior decision-making body to oversee Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan affairs on top of the groups already performing this function, a pro-Beijing source said the move can be seen as an indication of Beijing’s resolve to become a global power.

As it endeavors to become a major power, Beijing is determined to push for cross-strait reunification and stamp out the rising separatist sentiment in Hong Kong, according to the source.

Some political observers believe that Beijing’s policy direction towards Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan will witness some gradual changes under the newly established group.

One indication of such changes are going happen is that during a recent meeting with delegates of the Law Society of Hong Kong, Huang Liuquan, the deputy director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, stressed that there is no such thing as “one-party dictatorship” in China.

According to Law Society president Thomas So Shiu-tsung, Huang insisted that the People's Republic has been practicing a system based on multi-party cooperation under the leadership of the Communist Party.

In effect, Huang is not supporting recent remarks made by new National People’s Congress Standing Committee member Tam Yiu-chung that “those who have ever called for ending one-party dictatorship shouldn’t be allowed to stand for elections in Hong Kong”.

Still, only time will tell how Beijing's policy towards Hong Kong would change under the group led by President Xi.

In this regard, pro-establishment sources also said they cannot predict what relevant arrangements would emerge.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on April 13

Translation by Alan Lee

[Chinese version 中文版]

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Columnist of Hong Kong Economic Journal.