Beijing calls for unity in Hong Kong SAR

Updated: 2015-08-29 07:53

By Luis Liu in Hong Kong(HK Edition)

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The central government's Hong Kong affairs office on Friday again expressed its hope for unity among different sectors and political groups in the city. It also called for an accurate understanding and implementation of the "One Country, Two Systems" policy.

These remarks came two days after a lunch meeting between a deputy director of the State Council's Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office (HKMAO) and the city's Democratic Party leaders on Wednesday.

The invitation to the five Democratic Party members came from Feng Wei, deputy director of the office. Among the topics discussed were the governance of the SAR and the 2017 Chief Executive election, the party's chairwoman Emily Lau Wai-hing said. She attended the lunch with vice-chairmen Lo Kin-hei and Andrew Wan Siu-kin, legislator Wu Chi-wai, and Lam Cheuk-ting, chief executive of the party.

An HKMAO spokesperson said the meeting was just a "normal arrangement" to discuss with and listen to opinions from the city's various sectors and political parties on "political, economic and social issues". The spokesperson also said the central government hoped all sectors and political groups in the SAR would strive to safeguard its long-term stability and prosperity, as well as the country's sovereignty, security and development interests.

They should also support the Chief Executive and the SAR government in governing the city according to the law, and put aside differences and forge a consensus to build a better Hong Kong.

The SAR government said it welcomed the meeting and was "committed to promoting communication between the central government and various sectors in Hong Kong".

The Democratic Party's Lau was criticized by some party members for not reporting to the party's decision-making body before meeting Feng. But she countered that publicizing the lunch meeting in advance may have caused disturbance and led to its cancellation.

Some radicals in the opposition camp also criticized the Democratic Party for holding "secret" talks with Beijing. But Lau said this was to meet the central government's wish to keep the meeting low key.

Lawmakers welcomed the move. James Tien Pei-chun, honorary chairman of the Liberal Party, said the meeting was good for Hong Kong. He called for central government officials to meet with all 28 opposition lawmakers so they could hear their opinions directly.

(HK Edition 08/29/2015 page6)