Home>News Center>China

HK: Calls for reason amid strife concerns
By Albert Au-Yeung (China Daily HK Edition)
Updated: 2004-04-05 08:33

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) government Sunday called for a peaceful dialogue in Hong Kong over the central government's interpretation of the Basic Law as local political figures voiced concern over possible social strife.

The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPCSC) is currently holding meetings in Beijing to discuss interpretation of provisions of the Basic Law that concern constitutional development in the SAR.

Stephen Lam, Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, pointed out Sunday that the interpretation exercise will actually resolve a very practical and significant problem for Hong Kong.

"We will closely monitor the response of the community," he said. He noted that Hong Kong society has always discussed issues concerning political reform in a rational and peaceful manner; and urged Hong Kong people to continue to communicate with the government peacefully.

Meanwhile, subsequent to last week's clash between police and protesters outside the Central Government Offices, there have been concerns about social strife after the announcement of the Basic Law interpretation Tuesday.

Paul Yip, chairman of the Hong Kong Policy Research Institute, warned Sunday on a radio programme that more violence may be in store.

"If the situation goes on like this, I cannot rule out the possibility that certain uncontrollable events may happen at certain times; or that to some people, because of their political needs and low opportunity cost, certain disorderly conduct may serve their interests."

He worried that the tension in society will continue to escalate.

"Where will it end?" exclaimed the former special adviser to the chief executive.

James Tien, chairman of the Liberal Party, condemned certain politicians for inciting the public to garner votes for the Legislative Council election in September.

"It is wrong and illusive to think that by mobilizing the masses onto the streets, the general will is manifested and that the moderate parties, the SAR or even the central government will concede to the pressure," he opined on another radio programme.

"Maybe what some politicians really want is to use mass demonstrations as a tactical move to win more votes in the coming September elections, but this is equally wrong," he observed.

He pointed out that "politics breeds emotions" and called on Hong Kong people to remain cool-headed.

He stressed the importance of patience and thorough consultation, and the need to focus on institution building rather than on a target date or a specific result.

In another development, a number of "pro-democracy" political parties staged a motorcade parade yesterday afternoon to call on members of the public to join in their opposition to the interpretation exercise.

The procession set out in Central and ended up in Kwun Tong. They vowed to organize more protests after the announcement of the interpretation.

  Today's Top News     Top China News

State of emergency law to set basic rights



HK: Calls for reason amid strife concerns



Bird flu requires tight watch



Iraqi anti-US protests turn violent, 30 killed



Corruption haunts Wenzhou high-rise project



Job hunt an uphill battle for female graduates


  HK: Calls for reason amid strife concerns
  Corruption haunts Wenzhou high-rise project
  Bird flu requires tight watch
  State of emergency law to set basic rights
  Gas explosion kills one, leaves 4 others missing
  60,000 protest Chen Shui-bian in Taipei
  Go to Another Section  
  Story Tools  
  Related Stories  
HK responds to US' HK policy act report
Clarification of the Basic Law gets under way
HK protesters urged to act peacefully
NPC to interpret annexes of HK Basic Law
  News Talk  
  Sex Education, a necessary evil?