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Former Hong Kong official speech stirs debate
The Epoch Times

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Former director of Hong Kong’s department of government affairs, Anson Chan wrote an article entitled, “Believe Us: Hong Kong Needs Effective Administration Instead of Independence,” which was published in the latest Time magazine. In the article, she expressed her opinion about the present political situation in Hong Kong.

She pointed out in the article that after 500,000 people participated in the pro-democracy July 1 parade last year, Chinese authorities in Beijing changed their practice of “not interfering” with Hong Kong’s affairs. They adopted rigid policies for Hong Kong and tampered with the general election of the legislature and procurator of Hong Kong. She said that the methods and the influence of the media that the Chinese government used is like what happened in the Cultural Revolution, and the people of Hong Kong feel confused and offended by it.

She said the fact that the people of Hong Kong cherish and defend their freedom and rights doesn’t mean that they are less patriotic than those who claim to be patriotic. She reaffirmed that almost all of the people of Hong Kong are proud to be Chinese.

She appealed to the Chinese government, saying that they should trust the people of Hong Kong. She said that the people of Hong Kong are mature and practical and, “they long for an effective and transparent government.” They would never want to obtain independence from China.

After the publication of this article, the parties in Hong Kong who support the Chinese government and representatives from the National People's Congress in Mainland China criticized her one after another, saying that her comments were improper. The Vice Chairman of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong, Mr. Ye Guoqian said that it was improper for her to mention the Cultural Revolution, and that her statement on the Cultural Revolution has received enormous response. He feels that there is currently strong animosity in Hong Kong society, and that everyone should deal with the situation calmly.

However, the former president of the Democratic Party of Hong Kong and current legislator Martin Lee believes that Chan expressed the real thinking of Hong Kong’s people, so that the criticism from Beijing was actually an attack on all of Hong Kong’s people.

Lee said that the Democratic Party of Hong Kong never had an attitude of enmity toward Beijing authorities.

The former chair of the Hong Kong Bar Association and current legislator Audrey Eu believes that, in this situation, everybody should not criticize each other, and reasonable communication will be an effective way to resolve the problem.

In order to clarify the related comments, Chan said that she did not think that the freedom of the people in Hong Kong was deprived. For example, the June 4 candle vigil assembly (in memory of the Tiananmen Square Massacre) should still be held. In her article, she only mentioned that some people in Hong Kong are worried about their freedom of speech and press.

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