Friday, 23 September 2016

Does the Liaison Office Get Hong Kong?

Wang Zhenmin has been stationed at the liaison office since January
The Chinese government may have people on the ground in Hong Kong gathering information about the people and the city, but it doesn't seem to want to try to understand what's going on.

At all.

The legal head of Beijing's liaison office here said Hong Kong is ill and needs medication, caused by the growing talk of independence -- which he ruled out for "1,000 years and forever".

It's either 1,000 years or forever. Which one is it?

Wang Zhenmin believes those advocating Hong Kong's separation from China are acting out of fear that the mainland's success is eclipsing the city's.

Sixtus "Baggio" Leung says Wang's comments are "laughable"
Someone really has his head above the clouds.

"Hong Kong's prosperity and stability is largely because of the motherland," he said. "Some people then think that now the motherland is developing well, Hong Kong will go downhill. It is heartbreaking to see some people going for extreme means to destroy Hong Kong."

Err... no one is really thinking that theory, Mr Wang; it is rather that Hong Kong people are tired of our dependence on the mainland and Beijing meddling in our affairs. None of us wants to destroy Hong Kong, unless the mainland has other plans for us.

He went on to declare Hong Kong would remain a part of China "for 1,000 years and forever", and that no one could break them apart.

Sounds so romantic and yet does Hong Kong have a choice in the matter?

The Basic Law expert said Hong Kong should serve as a role model for the country's economic and democratic development, along with the rule of law.

"If the 7.3 million people in Hong Kong mess up democracy and only bring extremism, violence and separatism, how can the 1.4 billion people on the mainland pursue democracy without fear?"

Is he insinuating there will be democracy in China?

Rimsky Yuen says advocating separatism breaches Basic Law
And he shouldn't he give us credit for no violent incidents on September 4, the day of the Legislative Council elections when 2.8 million people turned out to cast their votes?

Wang is the same person who raised eyebrows in April when he warned that those who discussed independence for Hong Kong in a "large-scale" setting were not only violating the Basic Law, but could also be committing "treason" and "sedition" under existing criminal laws.

That set off a debate on whether talking about separatism was considered "sedition", and the Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung warned that advocating independence was a breach of the "relevant" provisions in the Basic Law, and incompatible with the legal status and overall interests of the city.

While Wang said he was open to discussing whether "one country, two systems" should continue after it expires in 2047, he revealed that he personally preferred to maintain the
status quo.

Localist lawmaker-elect Sixtus "Baggio" Leung Chung-hang, who advocates self-determination, dismissed Wang's take on the rise of separatism as "laughable".

"When we discuss the question of independence, we are driven by the invisible hand from the Communist Party that is meddling with our rights and freedoms," Leung said. "It has nothing to do with China's economic strength."

While Wang was here at the University of Hong Kong from 1993 to 1995, and served on the Basic Law committee from 2006 to 2008, his recent time here only started from January this year.

Perhaps he feels he has to play up the rhetoric because of his position, but that just only demonstrates Beijing's lack of sensitivity to the issue or a belief in the heavy-handed approach will bring bring stray attitudes around.


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