Michael Tien to push Beijing for independent probe - RTHK
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Michael Tien to push Beijing for independent probe

2019-08-07 HKT 09:48
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  • Michael Tien says many people would stop protesting if two of their five demands are met. Photo: RTHK
    Michael Tien says many people would stop protesting if two of their five demands are met. Photo: RTHK
Roundtable lawmaker Michael Tien said that he will use a meeting in Shenzhen on Wednesday morning to press Beijing officials to tell Chief Executive Carrie Lam to fully withdraw her extradition bill and order an independent inquiry into the affair.

Beijing has invited Hong Kong delegates to the National People's Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference to a seminar on the crisis that is gripping the SAR, and Tien said his message would be that the situation could be resolved.

"It will be a chance for people like me to share with them what the protesters are thinking about and what is important to them and the long-term implications if the government stands firm and does not look at any of their five requests," he told RTHK's Hugh Chiverton.

Tien said he had spoken to protesters who surrounded Tsuen Wan police headquarters in his district on Monday. He said that the 50 or so most militant protesters who were charging towards the station told him to go away, but he was able to have discussion with, by his estimates, about 950 protesters who were behind them.

"The other, more peaceful group started talking to me and giving me advice. One of the things that was very clearly stated was that they were there because the government did not accede to their demands, so they feel that their voices are not heard.

"So then I asked them: of the five demands that you had, some of them absolutely will not be possible. Are there any that are very important to you? They narrowed it down to two. One is the committee of inquiry, the other is a complete withdrawal," of the now-suspended extradition bill.

"They agreed with me that if the government accedes to these requests at least half of the supporters at the back would've gotten what they want and disappeared."

Protesters have also demanded the withdrawal of all charges against people involved in demonstrations, the withdrawal of the characterisation of a protest on June 12 as a riot and universal suffrage for the Chief Executive and Legco elections.

Tien said the emphasis should not be on the militants as "these people have been around for years. I don't know what their background is. There could be foreign support. It could be people who really want to destabilise Hong Kong and see 'One Country, Two Systems' come to an end."

However, he added: "Somehow the SAR government needs to look at these two requests seriously, because even if this crisis can be contained and come under control some day, you're talking about a generation of peaceful, normal citizens who will eventually grow up and harbour this hatred against the government and the police. That is not what we want."

Tien also said he did not believe the central government would take action that would undermine the "One Country, Two Systems" principle, including introducing an outside authority to police the situation in the SAR. Doing so, he said, would be "tantamount to kissing 'One Country, Two Systems' goodbye".