Tuesday, 28 October 2014

The Threat of Expulsion

The CPPCC may revoke James Tien's seat for saying CY Leung should resign
It has been exactly a month since teargas was unleashed on protesters on Harcourt Road, and at Admiralty tonight they are marking the milestone with nostalgic songs, rousing speeches and shining their mobile phone lights.

But James Tien Pei-chun is facing an unprecedented crisis tonight with the standing committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) threatening to strip him of his seat in the country's advisory body.

Last Friday Tien made the unusually bold move to say during an interview with Commercial Radio that Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying's relationship with the Legislative Council had deteriorated, that his leadership was poor, and he should ask Beijing to allow him to resign.

This is not the first time the leader of the Liberal Party and pro-Beijing lawmaker has made a radical move -- he resigned from the Executive Council days after the 2003 July 1 march that forced then chief executive Tung Chee-hwa to rescind Article 23, the national security legislation.

And a day after this year's July 1 march, Tien said Leung should consider resigning after tens of thousands marched from Victoria Park to Chater Garden.

But it looks like this time Beijing doesn't want to be seen as entertaining divergent points of view and may be set to punish Tien for sticking his head out.

This afternoon the CPPCC discussed removing Tien as a delegate and it will be put to a vote tomorrow.

CPPCC standing committee member Chan Wing-kee said the proposal to unseat Tien is based in the CPPCC charter that says the standing committee has the power to strip the post of a delegate who violates the charter or the resolution of the CPPCC's plenary session.

One resolution passed in March states CPPCC delegates must "resolutely support the chief executives of Hong Kong and Macau to govern in accordance with laws".

While Tien says he will make a comment tomorrow, his younger brother Michael Tien Puk-sun said, "A delegate has the duty to observe the CPPCC's rule and should be prepared to pay a price if he feels there is a need to air his views."

The fact that the CPPCC discussed the issue this afternoon perhaps means James Tien's guanxi is not as strong or deep has Leung's, that the central government continues to stand by their man even though he's made so many verbal gaffes in the last few days one has to wonder why they insist on keeping him.

But it looks like loyalty trumps competence and again adds ammunition to why protesters are out on the streets.

The mainlandization of Hong Kong is happening much faster than I thought. If James Tien is indeed kicked out of the CPPCC, other pro-Beijing lawmakers will probably tow the Party line even more so.

This is creating more divisiveness and harder to find some kind of compromise.

Seems like the buck definitely stops here with Beijing. Now what?

3 comments:

  1. Many Umbrella Movement people have been trying to focus on Hong Kong and saying their beef is more with the Hong Kong authorities than Beijing. But if Beijing continues to stand firmly by/behind 689, than it gets harder and harder to separate the two... and harder and harder to see a positive resolution to the current crisis. :(

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    1. Yes... looks like James Tien will be the first political casualty... so much for trying to influence from the inside...

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  2. Confirmed, James Tien just got voted out of the CPPCC almost unaninmously. James Tien also steps down as chairman of Liberal Party.

    what we need to do is to STOP support parties that are pro Beijing at the next Legistrative Council elections

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