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Troublemakers 'try to plunge HK into turmoil'
By Xiao Guo (China Daily HK Edition)
Updated: 2004-04-06 09:55

Tsang Hin-chi, a member of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPCSC), Monday dubbed as troublemakers a group of people in Hong Kong who plan to hold more protests against Beijing's interpretation of the Basic Law annexes.

"All they want is to stir up trouble in Hong Kong," Tsang said in Beijing Monday.

The NPCSC is having a five-day meeting that ends Tuesday to interpret key electoral provisions in the Basic Law that concern election of the chief executive and formation of the legislature.

The move reportedly aims to ensure the Basic Law is correctly "understood and implemented".

Tsang, who is now attending the NPCSC meeting, is the sole representative from Hong Kong to be entitled to vote on the interpretation.

When asked whether there will be continuous social strife following the NPCSC interpretation, Tsang criticized some people in Hong Kong for trying to "plunge the city into turmoil", Cable TV reported.

"I have said many times that Beijing's interpretation will definitely be good for Hong Kong and serve the interests of Hong Kong people," Tsang said. "It will not harm Hong Kong."

He stressed that the NPCSC move has a legal basis and will help put an end to disputes over the political reform process.

Some democrats recently began to organize marathon-type sit-ins at Central to protest against the NPCSC interpretation. They said they would demonstrate at the main entrance of Central Government Offices after the NPCSC releases the content of the interpretation today. Tsang said that while the people have the freedom to oppose the interpretation, they should not always think negatively about it.

Meanwhile, Raymond Woo, a member of the Basic Law Committee, said yesterday the NPCSC interpretation will not specify that the central government has the power to kick-start or decide on changes to the method of selecting the chief executive.

However, "it would clearly indicate that the central government has such power to prevent the situation in Hong Kong from running out of control," he said.

Woo, a Hong Kong deputy to the NPC, was invited to be present at the NPCSC meeting.

NPCSC Deputy Secretary General Qiao Xiaoyang, its Legislative Affairs Commission Vice-Chairman Li Fei, and the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office Deputy Director Xu Ze will host a press conference this afternoon to announce details of the NPCSC interpretation.

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