07/15/2014, 00.00
HONG KONG - CHINA

Hong Kong government omits Occupy Central from its report to Beijing

Paul Wang
The report is supposedly based on five months of consultation with Hong Kong residents, but its content reflects what Beijing wanted. According to the document, 'mainstream opinion' wants no change. Occupy Central movement is backed by Card Zen and Hong Kong's three new auxiliary bishops.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - In its reports on Hong Kongers' views about democracy, the Hong Kong government has no room for the Occupy Central movement nor the pro-democracy rallies, or the pressures by academic, business and political leaders in favour of universal suffrage.

In two reports - one delivered today by Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor to Hong Kong's Legislative Council, and one that will be delivered by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress in Beijing - the government stated that "mainstream opinion" in Hong Kong wants the 1,200-member nominating committee, with mostly Beijing appointees, to have the power to elect the special region's next leader.

In recent months, the Occupy Central movement tried to raise public awareness in favour of universal suffrage and the direct election of the chief executive. In order to press its cause, they organised sit-ins, and eventually an unofficial referendum that attracted 800,000 voters. A few days later, at least 510,000 people took part in the march for democracy on 1 July.

The chief executive simply dismissed such events because "their views remain divergent". Instead, the report claims that the people of Honk Kong do not feel any need for a more democratic Legislative Council, where only half of all seats are elected by universal suffrage.

Reflecting Beijing's wishes, the report goes on to say that the new chief executive, set to take office in 2017, should also "love the country [i.e. China] and love Hong Kong."

In recent days, Card Joseph Zen and the diocese's three new auxiliary bishops expressed their support for the pro-democracy campaign. The prelates asked the chief executive to delay the presentation of his report to Beijing, to allow for a more thorough dialogue with the people.

Although Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor's report to lawmakers summarised public views gathered during a five-month consultation, many Honk Kongers believe that it reflects what was already decided five months ago. In other words, either there was no consultation or the consultation was phoney.

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