Former Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying has said that Hong Kong citizens must accept the fact that the city-state is not an independent country like Singapore, and that they must respect Beijing’s authority.
While the opposition camp emphasized that “power comes from the people,” Leung claimed that Hongkongers could only give the city’s government minimal power in his second video speech in a week.“In Hong Kong the extra autonomous power that we enjoy actually comes from Beijing, and Beijing has to account to all the 1.4 billion people in the whole of China,” he said. “Ignoring the sentiments of the mainland people is self-deception on the part of Hong Kong.
“We are not another Singapore. In Hong Kong, by pushing on the democracy envelope too far, and by attempting to chip away the authority of Beijing in, for example, appointing the chief executive, many of the so-called democrats have become, in practice, separatists.”
Delegates from Hong Kong’s National People’s Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the country’s highest advisory body, traveled to the mainland on Tuesday (March 2) in preparation for the plenary sessions of the two bodies, which begin on Friday (March 5) and Thursday (March 4), respectively.
The political activities, dubbed “two sessions,” provide a glimpse into the central government’s goals and preparations for the coming year. On Tuesday, politicians flew to Shenzhen for Covid-19 testing before flying to Beijing the next day.Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, will fly to the capital via Shenzhen on Thursday for the NPC’s opening ceremony the following day, before returning to Hong Kong via Guangdong on Sunday (March 7).
Apart from supporting China’s next five-year plan, sources previously told the Post that the NPC and CPPCC will scrutinize Beijing’s proposals to shake up Hong Kong’s electoral structures based on the idea of “patriots governing Hong Kong.”
Last week, in his first eight-minute video address, Leung cautioned that residents could not expect the city’s leader to enjoy the high level of autonomy granted by the central government while ignoring Beijing’s position in selecting a candidate, stating that “we cannot have our cake and eat it.”
In the most recent five-minute segment, Leung said that in the late 1980s, a Shanghai official told him that Beijing had consulted the mainland city’s government on the draft of Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, the Basic Law.Leung said the Shanghai official told him: “Lucky you, come 1997, unlike Shanghai and many other cities on the mainland, Hong Kong doesn’t need to contribute anything to the Central government coffers.
“You can also save the hundreds of millions of dollars that you are now paying every year to the British for having the British garrison in Hong Kong. After 1997, he said, the People’s Liberation Army will be free of charge.”
Leung lamented that nowadays, many mainland people’s view of Hong Kong had changed. Rather than admiring it, some people, such as taxi drivers, were upset about how activists threatened national security.
“Mainland taxi drivers believe that Hong Kong has been ungrateful; we are biting the hand that feeds us; we want our cake and eat it,” he said.
“[The taxi drivers said] the so-called democrats who collude with foreign governments should be locked up forever … the rioters in 2019 who trashed the national flag in Hong Kong are treasonous; and more recently they said ‘enough is enough’.”
Leung said if the mainland people knew that these anti-China acts were going to happen, they would not have been as supportive of Hong Kong, as they were before 1997.
“If the people on the mainland had a crystal ball when they were consulted on the Basic Law draft and saw the so-called democrats calling on the US government to sanction China, would they have agreed to give Hong Kong the special treatments that we have today under the Basic Law?” he said.