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HK lawmakers' responsibility

(China Daily) Updated: 2015-06-01 07:49

HK lawmakers' responsibility

Robert Chow Yung (second from left), spokesman for the Alliance for Peace and Democracy, meets the media with fellow members at a news conference in Hong Kong on Monday. The alliance has received more than 1.2 million signatures from Hong Kong residents in its campaign to support the government's electoral reform package. Roy Liu / China Daily

Speaking at a four-hour meeting with more than 50 Hong Kong lawmakers on Sunday, Wang Guangya, director of the State Council's Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office, urged them to exercise their rights prudently and act responsibly, and not to make a "regretful decision" that will go down in history when voting on the constitutional reform package that will shape the city's future.

This was the first time central government officials and the opposition legislators have talked since the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government unveiled its constitutional reform package, and this may well be the last and only such meeting before the bill is put to a vote at the Legislative Council by the end of this month.

The package, which is in line with the Basic Law and the National People's Congress Standing Committee's Aug 31 decisions, means Hong Kong's lawmakers are voting on whether 5 million eligible voters in Hong Kong will be active participants rather than passive observers in the electoral process to choose the next chief executive of the HKSAR in 2017.

If the package is voted down, then the status quo will prevail, and democratic progress in the city will face even more obstacles. And even if the five-step process of constitutional reform is relaunched years later, the NPCSC's Aug 31 decisions aimed at maintaining Hong Kong's long-term prosperity and stability and the sovereignty and security of the country will still apply.

The central government firmly supports universal suffrage in Hong Kong, but will never allow the radical fraction of the opposition camp, especially a tiny minority of activists who want to turn Hong Kong into an independent political entity, to challenge Beijing's jurisdiction over Hong Kong..

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