HIGH TIDE (MARCH 30TH 2015) – DAILY POLITICAL ROUND-UP

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FS warns of xenophobic sentiments; New political group wants a place; Beijing maintains hard-line stance. Photo Credit: Chris Lusher


 

Politics (Government &LegCo)

Suspected shipwreck top priority for Bypass work, says Paul Chan.
– Secretary for Development Paul Chan said (in Chinese) in a radio programme that the Government is considering to reclaim 600 hectare of land in the East Lantau Metropolis plan to build the city’s third commercial hub
– Chan stressed that there is no development plan for the city’s country parks
– Chan told reporters after the programme that the Civil Engineering and Development Department will “accord first priority” to the fact-finding work on a suspected shipwreck found six-metres beneath the seabed in Wan Chai in order to access its impact on the Central-Wan Chai Bypass works

Financial Secretary warns of xenophobic elements in domestic movements.
– Financial Secretary John Tsang wrote (in Chinese) on his blog yesterday that Hong Kong can play the roles of investor, mediator and supporter in China’s “one belt, one road” mega plan
– Tsang said that Undersecretary for Financial Services and the Treasury James Lau is representing the HKSAR to attend the drafting conference of the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank in Almaty
– Tsang, meanwhile, noted his worries on growing “xenophobic” and “protectionist” sentiments which would damage Hong Kong’s image as a multicultural metropolis

Diplomats

Indonesia seeks investment from Hong Kong for infrastructure road map.
– Ratna Lestari Harjana, Consul (economic) of the Indonesian Consulate-General, said that her country is looking to Hong Kong to tackle corruption and attract foreign direct investment for its infrastructure plan
– The Indonesian authorities have rolled out a road map to build 15 airports, 24 ports, 35 power plants, 1000km of toll roads, 3258km of railwats, eight special economic zones and 14 industrial estates by 2019

Czech in Macau’s green forum.
– The Czech Consulate-General joined the 8th edition of Macao International Environmental Co-operation Forum and Exhibition to promote low carbon and sustainable development
– Profiles of Czech companies from green technology business field were at the display at the Consular’s booth

Politics (general)

New group fights to become ‘third power’ in Hong Kong politics.
– Youngspiration, a new political group from three months ago by Occupy protesters, held a press conference yesterday stating that it aims to become the ‘third power’ between the pro-establishment and the opposition camps
– The group, with a motto “You say. I do. We change”, said it is planning to field at least eight candidates for this year’s district council elections
– Convenor Baggio Leung claimed that “there are differences between us and the pan-democrats. But we do not aim to compete with them. We did not form Youngspiration to target the pan-democrats”
– Meanwhile, the newly elected cabinet of the troubled Hong Kong Federation of Students has vowed to increase transparency in its decision-making procedure and to improve communications with its member institutions

China & World

Beijing maintains hard-line stance toward reform in Hong Kong.
– Top mainland officials reaffirmed its position regarding Hong Kong’s political reform at a symposium in Beijing to mark the 25th anniversary of the promulgation of the Basic Law
– Vice-chairman of the Legislative Affairs Commission of the NPCSC Zhang Rongshun asserted that “there is no law that cannot be amended and thus there is no need [for Beijing] to promise the [election model] can be changed after the package is passed”
– Hong Kong’s NPCSC member Maria Tam urged pro-Beijing newspapers to improve their style and hence readership in order to better explain the Central Government’s stance