High Tide (January 14th 2016) – Daily political round up

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CY Leung’s OBOR address; Beijing hardliner takes over Liaison Office legal affairs dept; One more joins LegCo by-election.

Photo: Chris Lusher


Government & LegCo

CY Leung sidesteps major social issues in favour of ‘One Belt, One Road’
– CY Leung put ‘One Belt, One Road’ strategy as his utmost concern in the 2016 policy address, with some counts suggesting that he mentioned the term for 42 times
– Other major highlights included injecting some HKD4.5bn in innovation and technology, and a promise to introduce free kindergarten for 70% to 80% of the places by 2017/2018
– We have filtered the paper for you – read our tweets here (no account required)
– Watch HKSOW founder Vincent Wong and Harbour Times EiC Andrew Work’s picks on the policy address here

– The pan-dems trashed the report for ‘shoe-shining’ Beijing while barely mentioned the more controversial social issues such as standard working hours and retirement protection scheme
– Leung was also slammed for dodging the issues of the deteriorating executive-legislative relations, the disappearance of five booksellers, and the MPF offset mechanism
– Four lawmakers, namely ‘Long Hair’ Leung Kwok-hung of the League of Social Democrats, People Power’s Albert Chan and Raymond Chan, as well as Labour Party’s Lee Cheuk-yan, were ousted by president Jasper Tsang for protesting when Leung delivered his speech
– Asked later if his ‘Belt and Road’-oriented policy address was designed to impress Beijing, Leung said, “If I do not raise some strategies for Hong Kong for the Belt and Road initiative, and do not push the government and industries to fight for this opportunity, I believe it will not only be the Central Government who will be upset with me, but the 7.2 million Hong Kong people and companies of all sizes too”

Beijing hardliner assumes office as legal affairs chief of Liaison Office
– Tsinghua University law dean Wang Zhenmin was tapped to lead the legal affairs department of Beijing’s Liaison Office in Hong Kong
– Wang was formerly a member of the Basic Law Committee and an alumnus of the University of Hong Kong, and was known for his hardline stance on the city’s autonomy

General Politics

One more joins LegCo by-election race
– A person named Lau Chi-shing joined the ‘gang of four’, namely DAB’s Holden Chow, Civic Party’s Alvin Yeung, Third Side’s Nelson Wong and Independent district councillor Christine Fong, in the LegCo New Territories East by-election
– There is a Lau Chi-shing in the Tai Po district council, but it is yet to confirm that they are the same person as the government’s announcement only revealed that Lau was a company director
– Localist group Hong Kong Indigenous’s spokesperson Edward Leung also announced his participation in the race but was yet to submit his form