Political reform would rip HK apart: Lau Siu-kai - RTHK
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Political reform would rip HK apart: Lau Siu-kai

2019-07-04 HKT 12:01
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  • Lau Siu-kai says a new round of debate on political reform would only increase divisions in society. Photo: RTHK
    Lau Siu-kai says a new round of debate on political reform would only increase divisions in society. Photo: RTHK
Lau Siu-kai
Introducing political reform would not be a solution to Hong Kong's current turmoil and would only aggravate disputes, a leader of Beijing's top think tank on the SAR warned on Thursday.

Lau Siu-kai, the vice-president of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macau Studies, said the Central Government will see the recent unrest over the extradition bill as an attempt by foreign forces to gain control of the city.

This fear will lead Beijing to tighten its control on Hong Kong, Lau told RTHK.

As for what the SAR authorities could do to ease the worst political and social crisis since the handover, Lau said more inclusive governance would help.

"Instead of changing the political system right away, which is almost impossible, the government should allow more political forces and different interests, particularly young people, to participate in the policy making process and to make the policies more beneficial to more people," he said.

"That is the kind of thing which Hong Kong can do at the present moment, instead of arousing another debate on political reform, which I think would further divide society, and eventually without any good result."

Lau was also asked for his views on claims that the teaching of liberal studies in Hong Kong schools has somehow fuelled the protests over the extradition bill. A number of pro-Beijing figures, including former Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa, say the lessons have led to a rise in political activism among young people.

Lau said he could not rule out that some teachers use the subject to advocate their personal political beliefs. But he said he could not make a conclusion on whether liberal studies are effective as no study on this has been carried out.