Vice Premier Han Zheng has been quoted as saying that Beijing's electoral reforms for Hong Kong are no longer about whether the SAR's systems are democratic or not, but about preventing subversion.
During a two-hour meeting with local National People’s Congress deputies on Sunday morning, Han reportedly explained why the changes are so badly needed.
He was quoted as saying that Hong Kong’s public order situation had continuously deteriorated over the past two decades, from the 2003 protests against Article 23 legislation, to the 2014 Occupy movement and the anti-government protests two years ago.
One of those who attended the session, lawmaker Michael Tien, said the vice premier believed some people in Hong Kong – with the help of foreign powers – had wanted to completely destroy One Country Two Systems and even subvert the state.
Another delegate, Wong Yuk-shan, also said the top mainland official described the overhaul as "a war against subversion and a battle to protect the rule of law", saying the central government had no choice but to “act decisively” to protect national security and its sovereignty.
Apart from local NPC deputies, the head of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, Xia Baolong, director of the Liaison Office Luo Huining and Chief Executive Carrie Lam also attended the meeting.
Meanwhile, the vice premier, who is in charge of Hong Kong affairs, also met Lam on Saturday to discuss Hong Kong's anti-epidemic efforts and other issues such as developing the SAR into a financial, innovation and tech centre.
State media Xinhua said Han instructed Lam to make epidemic control her top priority, and asked her do a good job in implementing the upcoming electoral changes.
Han Zheng calls overhaul 'a war against subversion'
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