HIGH TIDE (MARCH 7TH 2015) – DAILY POLITICAL ROUND-UP

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Talking points in London and Beijing as LegCo rests; Tourist policy unlikely to be changed; More political reform proposals from various sectors. Photo Credit: Chris Lusher


Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

Restrictions on multiple-entry permit “complicated”, says Gregory So.
– CE CY Leung, who earlier vowed to propose restrictions on the multiple-entry permit in his visit to Beijing, now said that Mainland departments will coordinate to ensure that the permit will not adversely affect the livelihood of Hong Kong people
– Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Gregory So also said that it is difficult to tighten the regulation

 

Politics (General)

More political reform proposals submitted.
– Moderates and pro-establishment groups and individuals submitted last-ditch proposals as the second round of political reform consultation ended yesterday.
– These groups included the Liberal Party (in Chinese), the Hong Kong Bar Association, the HK Chinese Importers’ & Exporters’ Association, and Lawmakers Steven Ho (Agriculture and Fisheries) and Lam Tai-fai (independent)
– Director of HKU Public Opinion Programme Robert Chung suggested the Government to put forth more than one proposals for the public to decide which to adopt
HKFS in trouble as more universities plan for exit.
– Lingnan University will hold a referendum on next Tuesday to decide whether or not to stay in the HKFS
– Former HKFS secretary general Nathan Law said that he was optimistic over the vote and that HKFS members have been engaging with students on-campus
– Meanwhile, a survey conducted by a university magazine showed that more university students are supporting independence
HT EiC Andrew Work wrote on the Future Fund – Government holding money that is supposed to be ours.

 

China and World

British MPs warn of Hong Kong’s “eroded” autonomy.
– The House of Common’s Foreign Affairs Committee published the tenth report of the UK’s relations with HK, titled “30 years after the Joint Declaration”, touching upon current political developments in Hong Kong including the Occupy movement and the political reform
– The report stated that “we (the Committee) do not consider that the terms of the 31 August SCNPC decision offer “genuine choice” in any meaningful sense of the phrase, nor do we consider the decision consistent with the principle that Hong Kong should enjoy a high degree of autonomy”
– The HKSAR Government responded by asserting that it is “committed to implementing universal suffrage for the Chief Executive (CE) election in 2017, strictly in accordance with the Basic Law and the Decision adopted by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPCSC) on August 31, 2014”
– Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Hua Chunying said the UK has “no rights to intervene” while an article published in Xinhua trashed the MPs as being “hostile to Hong Kong’s development and are still laboring under a colonial mindset”
Two sessions today: Hong Kong independence.
– NPC HK delegates met with Chairman of the NPC Standing Committee Zhang Dejiang, Deputy Secretary General of the NPC Standing Committee Li Fei and Director of the HK and Macau Affairs Office Wang Guangya yesterday
– Zhang’s remarks mainly focused on recent development of radicalism and separatism, warning against the idea of Hong Kong independence
– Civic Party’s Alan Leong trashed Zhang’s warning, asserting that there is no such movement in Hong Kong; Leong’s party compatriot Ronny Tong meanwhile said that there are a few advocates of HK independence, but Beijing should understand the causes of such a phenomenon
– Democratic Party’s Helena Wong said she was furious that delegates and officials in Beijing were trying to put all the blames on Pan-dems as many of Zhang’s claims were directed against them
– Chen Zuo’er, president of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies, said the Chinese constitution and the Basic Law are like “mother and son (in Chinese)”, any interpretations of the latter would be meaningless without the support of the former
– Wang Guangya, when asked by reporters, did not reveal whether and when he will meet with Pan-dems