China says decision on Hong Kong electoral proposal to stand despite veto

(From Reuters)

China’s parliament said on Thursday that its decision on Hong Kong electoral reforms issued last year will remain in force despite Hong Kong’s legislature vetoing a China-vetted electoral reform package, state news agency Xinhua said.

Xinhua did not give more details.

Earlier, Hong Kong’s legislature on Thursday vetoed a China-vetted electoral reform package that had been criticized by opposition pro-democracy lawmakers and activists as flawed and undemocratic.

Hundreds of Beijing supporters had converged outside government buildings as city legislators voted on the Beijing-backed electoral package that aimed to define the Chinese-controlled city’s democratic future.

The vote happened earlier than expected, with only 37 of the legislature’s 70 legislators present. Of these, 28 lawmakers voted against the blueprint and 8 voted in favor, while one did not cast their vote.


Pro-democracy protesters outside Legislative Council in Hong Kong on Thursday — Reuters

 Moments before the ballot, a large number of pro-establishment and pro-Beijing lawmakers  suddenly walked out of the chamber.

The no vote had been expected and will likely appease some pro-democracy activists who had demanded a veto of what they call a “fake” democratic model for how Hong Kong chooses its next leader in 2017.

“This veto has helped Hong Kong people send a clear message to Beijing…that we want a genuine choice, a real election,” said pan-democratic law maker Alan Leong.”This is not the end of the democratic movement,” he said. “This is a new beginning.”

There have been fears that a veto would lead to fresh unrest on Hong Kong streets between pro-democracy activists and Beijing supporters.

Mainland Chinese media warned that a veto of the proposal could pose a threat to the financial center.

Weeks of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong late last year posed one of the biggest challenge in years for China’s ruling Communist Party.

The reform proposal, laid out by the central government in Beijing last August and supported by Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing leadership, would have allowed a direct vote for the city’s next leader but with only pre-screened, pro-Beijing candidates on the ballot.

Opponents want a genuinely democratic election in line with Beijing’s promise of universal suffrage made when the territory returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

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  • The_Spanish_Inquisition

    Blatant propaganda from Reuters

    1. Hong Kong is not “controlled” by China – it is part of China, under what is referred to as “One Nation, Two Systems”. That nation is China

    2. The undertaking given by Beijing in 1997 was to a gradual transition towards universal suffrage by 2046: we are currently 18 years into that 50 year period, and the proposals put forward not only represented progress, but were far more representative than ANYTHING the British had offered during 150 years of colonial rule

    3. Under the proposals, a shortlist of 4 – 6 preapproved candidates would be voted on by the wider electorate. How many pre-approved candidates for President do people in the USA get to choose from? Clinton or Bush – you choose. How many people voted for Cameron (or Gordon Brown before him) to be elected Prime Minister in the UK? (rather than as a local MP). How many people get to vote for the President of the European Commission? The Hong Kong LEGCO had a majority – not a sufficient majority, but a majority nonetheless – in favour of this proposal: Cameron is now Prime Minister again because just over 24% of the UK Electorate eligible to vote actually voted in favour of his “ruling” Conservative party. 24% – check it out for yourself.

    4. The “ruling” Communist Party is mentioned repeatedly – as is the phrase “pro-Beijing”. How far would a US politician in an island constituency such as Hawaii or Puerto Rico get if he/she was described as ” anti-American”? Even a majority of the Scots aren’t anti-UK, and the anti-EU UKIP party only won a single seat in the UK Parliament despite receiving 12% of the popular vote. How is any of this – coupled to economic austerity, Police brutality, 24/7 surveillance and flatlining economic growth – conspicuously better than what those evil Chinese Communists have to offer Hong Kong? Try waving a banner outside the White House calling for people to “Overthrow the US Dictatorship” and see if you get let out on $2000 bail: they wouldn’t even allow an Asian through Immigration wearing a T-shirt slogan like that

    PEOPLE IN HONG KONG ARE SICK TO THE BACK TEETH OF THIS US-SPONSORED “DEMOCRACY” MOVEMENT – they have seen the splendid results achieved in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and elsewhere, and want none if it. That is why there are more middle-aged “pro-Beijing” demonstrators than NGO-sponsored teenage “Colour Revolutionaries”, and why Reuters is clearly on a mission to propagandise a blatantly Western-centric narrative in spite if the obvious facts on the ground

  • mulga mumblebrain

    Excellent comment. How the USA gets the gall to interfere in the internal affairs of every country on Earth, buying the services of compradores and traitors through the NED, IRI, IDI USAID et al plus various ‘private ‘NGOs’ is mystery enough, but where they find these collaborators is even more mysterious. Needless to say if these Fifth Columnists were in the USA, on the Chinese payroll, they’d disappear for decades, perhaps forever.

  • Chad Leach

    One nation two systems is being ignored and hong kong is as much chinese as Puerto Rico is american. Apparently few agree with you that this is progress of any sort and just more power maintenance by Beijing. no one wants colonialism in hong kong, what many do want is a genuine democracy, something Beijing is not going to allow. You may want to take a break from all the chinese kool aid.

  • Chad Leach

    Lol people seem to do more disappearing in china, especially when a criticism of the government is leveled. If you cant handle criticism, build a wall to keep it out, seems to be China’s methodology.

  • Kenington

    The package improves representation and the original veto shows that the current LegCo members are not puppets of Beijing. The current members are also nominated or approved by Beijing and the increased representation will have the same freedoms.

    Bottom line is that Beijing allows Hong Kong to determine its own affairs and seeks to address the points raised by Hong Kong with regards to its governance!

    It is important to have a structure that resists the grubby money politics practised in the USA regime.