Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Taiwan slams PRC move in Hong Kong

Taiwan slams PRC move in Hong Kong

A senior Taiwanese official said yesterday that Beijing's move to delay any direct election for Hong Kong's leader until 2017 underlined why Taiwan could not accept reunification with China.
Tung Chen-yuan, a deputy chief of Taiwan's China policy-making body, known as the Mainland Affairs Council, said the decision sent a clear signal "that the Chinese Communist Party does not allow genuine democracy."
He told Agence France-Presse it also showed that the "tne country, two systems' being used to rule both Hong Kong and Macau cannot possibly be accepted by the people of Taiwan."
Taiwan and China have been separate since their split in 1949 at the end of a civil war, but China still regards the island as part of its territory that is awaiting reunification - by force if necessary.
The government in Taipei has rejected Beijing's offer to run Taiwan using the "one country, two systems" format like in Hong Kong and Macau, under which their free-wheel economies are guaranteed for 50 years.
China's National People's Congress gave a tentative green light Saturday to the election of Hong Kong's chief executive in 2017, the clearest indication yet of the city's political future.
However, that ignores chief executive Donald Tsang's admission in a report earlier this month that the public expected the former British colony's leader to be elected by universal suffrage in 2012.
In a statement late Saturday, the Mainland Affairs Council said China had not responded to Hong Kong people's demands for democracy.
"If the Chinese government continues to ignore the mainstream opinions of Hong Kong people," it warned, its people "may take more dramatic measures."
"Should that happen it would be an irony of the Chinese government leaders' pledge to tuild a harmonious society' and talk in the direction of democracy road,'" it added.
The council called on Beijing to allow greater autonomy in Hong Kong as a contribution to international affairs.
In Hong Kong, one of the leading democracy campaigners, Martin Lee, said the election proposals were "full of blanks" and contained no concrete details.
"I do not see Hong Kong with genuine democracy in 10 years more or 20 years more. It is just a mirage," the founder of Hong Kong's Democratic Party, told AFP.
Albert Chan, a lawmaker with the League of Social Democrats, said the democracy movement needed to adopt a more radical approach and called for a campaign of non-cooperation, with a blanket vote against all government bills.
"We need to disrupt our administration and force them to rethink the consequences of depriving Hong Kong people's political rights," he said on local broadcaster RTHK's "Letter to Hong Kong."
"Without changes, in another 20 years, we will be still waiting for democracy, but this time, in our grave," he said.
Beijing's announcement Saturday to give a tentative green light to the election of the former British colony's chief executive in 2017 was the clearest indication yet of the city's political future.
But the move ignored chief executive Donald Tsang's admission in a report earlier this month that the public expected the leader to be elected by universal suffrage in 2012.
Currently, the chief executive is chosen by an 800-member committee of mainly pro-Beijing representatives of business and professional groups.
More than 1,000 protesters marched through the city Saturday to condemn the announcement, which sparked a rare reaction from Britain. Foreign Secretary David Miliband called the move "a disappointment."
The English-language Sunday Morning Post said some comfort should be taken from the move, but conceded there would be some frustration at the delay.
"But it is tempered by a silver lining in the decision, and should now be put aside in favor of following a clear path that has opened up towards democratic development," it added.
Timothy Wong, from the Chinese University's Institute of Asia-Pacific studies, said the move could act as a model for reform in mainland China.
"Compared with democratic elections in western countries, the election of a chief executive by universal suffrage would be a better reference for democratic reform on the mainland," he said, according to the Post.
Chinese state media praised the move.
"The Standing Committee's decision ... provides a systematic guarantee of Hong Kong's political stability and development," the People's Daily said in an editorial.


Updated : 2021-06-21 16:19 GMT+08:00