Updated: 03/07/2014 00:51 | By Agence France-Presse

China warns Hong Kong against taking foreign voting model

A Chinese official warned Thursday of possible "disastrous results" if Hong Kong adopts a foreign electoral system as it mulls political reform, according to a report. 


China warns Hong Kong against taking foreign voting model

Pro-democracy activists hold a demonstration in Hong Kong, on November 8, 2012 - by Philippe Lopez

Changes to the political system are a highly charged issue in the semi-autonomous southern Chinese city, regularly sparking protests in favour of greater democracy.

China has promised the former British colony it will be able to elect its next leader in 2017, but has ruled out demands that voters should be able to choose which candidates can stand for the post.

Zhang Dejiang, chairman of China's National People's Congress, reiterated in Beijing that the southern city must carry out democratic reform based on its own laws, according to a Hong Kong delegate also attending the annual NPC session in the Chinese capital.

"You can't just import (electoral systems) or copy foreign countries, or else it may not be a good fit with the local environment and easily enter a democratic trap," the delegate, Ma Fung-kwok, quoted Zhang as saying.

Ma's comments to Hong Kong reporters were screened on Cable TV in the southern city.  

"It could bring disastrous results," Zhang was quoted as saying, adding that any democratic reform should be developed in a practical Hong Kong context.

China's official Xinhua news agency quoted Zhang only as saying that Hong Kong and Macau "must observe regulations of the Constitution and the Basic Laws in seeking democracy".

The Basic Law is Hong Kong's mini-constitution.

Many pro-democrats fear that China will control the choice of candidates to secure the election of a sympathetic chief executive.

On January 1 an estimated 30,000 demonstrators marched through the city to demand a greater say in choosing future leaders.

Currently the chief executive is elected by a 1,200-strong pro-Beijing committee.

Hong Kong returned to China in 1997 under an agreement with Britain that grants it semi-autonomous status and enshrines civil liberties not seen in mainland China.

Latest Photo Galleries on xinmsn

NEWS VIDEOS

MORE NEWS VIDEOS

facebook recommendations

LIVE NEWS RADIO STREAMING

  • 938 Live

    938LIVE is Singapore's only English news and talk station which transmits round the clock with an engaging and enticing spread of programmes on current affairs, health, business and lifestyle as well as news every half hour until midnight.

  • Capital 958


    95.8FM城市频道的前身是"第三广播网"。上个世纪30年代末,新加坡就有中文广播,一路走来经过不少政治,社会局势的改变,中文广播在本地一直扮演举足轻重的角色。