'Liaison office trying to coerce business sector' - RTHK
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'Liaison office trying to coerce business sector'

2019-05-16 HKT 16:38
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  • Claudia Mo says a meeting called by Beijing officials in Hong Kong is an attempt to force the business sector to back the fugitive law changes. Photo: RTHK
    Claudia Mo says a meeting called by Beijing officials in Hong Kong is an attempt to force the business sector to back the fugitive law changes. Photo: RTHK
Pro-democracy convenor Claudia Mo on Thursday accused Beijing's liaison office of trying to browbeat Hong Kong businesses into falling into line over controversial extradition law amendments.

The central government's representatives have called a meeting with local deputies to the National People's Congress on Friday – reportedly to talk about the extradition bill. Members of the mainland's top advisory body, the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, are also to attend the meeting.

Mo said she feels the Beijing officials' move won't be successful and warned that it could also backfire. "The more pressure you apply, the more resistance you might encounter," she said.

The business sector has raised concerns over the law changes proposed by the government and officials reduced the number of economic crimes that will come under the proposed changes. But pro-business parties like the Liberal party have continued to air their opposition.

Opposition lawmaker Au Nok-hin also said he felt Beijing's efforts will be futile. "No matter how much the liaison office interferes ... they won't be able to force HK business and other sectors to support the bill as pressure cannot win over reasoning," he said.

Lawmaker Kwok Ka-ki also blasted the liaison office's move, saying it is the "worst damage" done to the One Country, Two Systems principle.

"The only one who can defend these values is Carrie Lam," he said. "She has the responsibility to step forward and take on the right track – and withdraw this extradition bill."

"If what flows through Carrie Lam's veins is still the blood of a Hongkonger, and she really cares for Hong Kong's future, she must step forward," he said.