High Tide (September 14th 2015) – Daily political round up

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SJ: Beijing’s perspective over Basic Law matters; Gov’t proposes plan to reclaim land near Lantau Island; Hong Kong Geopark risks removal from UN’s Global Network of National Geoparks.

Photo: Chris Lusher


Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

SJ: Basic Law should also be looked at from a Beijing’s perspective in order to fully understand ‘One Country Two Systems’.
– Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen said the Basic Law must be interpreted from both Hong Kong and Beijing perspectives in order to “safeguard the co-existenceof the ‘two systems’ under the ‘one country’ framework”
– Yuen’s remarks came a day after the Liaison Office chief Zhang Xiaoming claimed that Hong Kong’s chief executive holds a position above the executive, legislature and judiciary branches

Government chasing MTR Corp over delayed and over-budget high-speed rail link.
– Secretary for Transport and Housing Anthony Cheung said the Highways Department had requested clarifications and supplementary information after reviewing a report submitted by the MTR Corp in June regarding the delayed and over-budget high-speed rail link to mainland China
– The latest estimated cost set at HKD85.3bn, 30% more expensive that the initial estimates
– Cheung reiterated the Government will follow up and see if the MTR Corp as the managing firm should bear the responsibility

Paul Chan reveals plans to create more housing units in Lantau Island.
– Secretary for Development Paul Chan revealed a reclamation (ch) plan in the central waters between Hong Kong Island and Lantau Island to accommodate a population of some 400,000-700,000 people
– Chan said the Development Bureau is also requesting the MTR Corp to review the feasibility of creating some 10,000 housing units on top of the railway company’s depot in northern Lantau Island
– Meanwhile, Chan noted that about 85,000 (ch) housing units will be completed in three to four years time according to estimates done in June

Regina Ip criticised for seeking to consult Government over House Committee chairman post.
– Commenting on a foreseeable competition between Liberal Party’s Tommy Cheung and BPA’s Andrew Leung over the post of House Committee chairman(ch), Regina Ip from the New People’s Party said she would consult the Government before deciding which side to support since the chairman would have to work closely with the Chief Secretary
– DAB’s Ip Kwok-him indirectly dismissed the ExCo member’s remarks as he pointed out it has always been the case that lawmakers would discuss the issue among themselves without asking for advice from the authority
– Democratic Party’s Emily Lau also blasted Regina Ip for compromising the power to monitor to the administration

Political (General)

Hong Kong Geopark seeks to retain status as member of UN’s global network – but local residents object.
– The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department is rolling out plans to improve and transportation and community facilities in Tung Ping Chau (ch) to retain the Hong Kong Geopark’s status as a member of the UN Global Network of National Geoparks
– Local residents, however, protested against the status renewal and complained about the poor living conditions in the area
– The UNESCO will make the decision on this Saturday as to whether Hong Kong’s Geopark will be shown a ‘yellow card’ for performing poorly in the aspect of community engagement

Activist group holds small scale anti-parallel trading ‘guided tour’ in Sheung Shui.
– About 10 people joined an anti-parallel trading (ch) protest yesterday in Sheung Shui, approaching suspected parallel traders and questioning them over their luggage
– A pro-Beijing group gathered for half an hour, condemning the protest as an attempt to promote Hong Kong independence