Tuesday, 15 March 2016

A Beijing Official who Somewhat Understands HK

Feng Wei takes a pragmatic approach to Hong Kong and its challenges
It's interesting to find the deputy director of Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office in Beijing has a more nuanced approach to Hong Kong.

Feng Wei seems to have an acute understanding of what's going on in the city and says the central government will work harder when communicating with Hong Kong's residents, and be patient.

For example, in the upcoming Legislative Council elections in September, Feng says he expects some young radical politicians will win seats, though he expects they will mature politically.

The central government is studying the rise of localism
"We will spot many new faces on TV screens. It will be normal that several radical young people will be returned as lawmakers [in September]," he said. "Politics is the process of putting theories into practice. Young people participating in politics, including radicals, will gradually mature."

He added the central government was "very concerned" about the rise of radicalism and was analyzing the reasons behind the phenomenon.

Hmmmm interesting. Surely that shouldn't be too difficult to figure out?

Perhaps it may have something to do with the white paper issued in June 2014 that said the central government had "comprehensive jurisdiction" over Hong Kong with regards to electoral reform.

Interestingly Feng seems to believe -- or wants people to believe -- that there are only a very small number of radicals who are calling for separatism. He acknowledged that Hong Kong's economy had sluggish growth, noting that people's median income had barely increased in the past two decades, while property prices had surged.

Zhang Dejiang says "one country, two systems" unchanged
"Problems with the economy certainly affect people's livelihood and give rise to social conflicts," he said.

And during the "two sessions" -- the National People's Congress and Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference -- Beijing chose to focus on other aspects of Hong Kong's governance than the violent incidents.

Zhang Dejiang, the National People's Congress chairman who overseas Hong Kong affairs, told the city's deputies two weeks ago that the "one country, two systems" principle would remain unchanged, though he urged the city to safeguard the rule of law.

While it's good for Zhang to reiterate this, how about China safeguarding the rule of law in China and telling us why five booksellers were mysteriously disappeared to the mainland from October until now? Surely we should be entitled to some answers to give us some kind of reassurances?

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