Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Leung Creates More Tensions

Leung Chun-ying tries to force pan-democrats' hand, telling them to prioritize
Beijing has invited pan-democrats to go across the border to discuss political reform with officials there -- but the mainland has decided the date will be near June 4, the 26th anniversary of the Tiananmen crackdown.

Many pan-democrats have said they would rather stay in Hong Kong, while Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying urges them to "treasure the opportunity" to meet three Beijing officials in Shenzhen on Sunday.

"There are June 4-related activities every year, but at such a critical moment, which is the quickly approaching vote on political reform, I think [lawmakers] should treasure the opportunity to meet Beijing officials," he said.

While it's true that pan-democrats can easily travel to and from Shenzhen, it's interesting Beijing has announced the meeting will be so close to the date, forcing Hong Kong lawmakers to decide their priorities.

The media asked Leung whether he believed activities commemorating the crackdown were not important, he said that was not what he meant.

"This year isn't a big year like [the 20th or 25th] year since June 4, and there are many people participating in June 4 [activities] in different capacities, but on political reform, lawmakers are the only people who can vote so that 5 million [eligible voters in] Hong Kong can directly elect their chief executive in 2017," Leung said.

"Is it more important for lawmakers to take part in June 4 activities, or ... the [meeting] in Shenzhen? I think they can make a choice."

Many believe when the pan-democrats get to Shenzhen, it won't be a productive dialogue but a lecture on how they are unpatriotic and only fueling "social unrest" -- a favourite term -- when in fact they are reflecting a good number of Hong Kong people's opinion about political reform package.

How can we even begin to have a mutual conversation about how Hong Kong people want to be governed -- but then again we aren't an independent state, are we?

But -- if the central government wants us all to get along, and have former president Hu Jintao's aim of a "harmonious society", then perhaps Beijing should earnestly consider what Hong Kong people want.

And if Hong Kong government officials didn't act like Beijing's henchmen, and were passionate advocates for the city, then maybe we'd have more respect for them and the Chinese government?

And maybe more things would be passed in the Legislative Council by now?

The ball is in Beijing's court.

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