Li Yuanchao slams Occupy Central as ‘illegal movement that impedes universal …

Vice-president Li Yuanchao slammed Occupy Central as an “illegal” movement that “damages the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong” during a meeting with Hong Kong media executives.

The deputy leader of the central government’s Hong Kong and Macau liaison group also said that Beijing was strongly opposed to the movement during the meeting between executives and Beijing officials, which marked the 60th anniversary of the Newspaper Society of Hong Kong.

Lee Cho-jat, chairman of the society spoke to reporters after the meeting with Li, of which the first five minutes were open to the media.

“He said Occupy Central is illegal. He also said it impedes universal suffrage. He also said it damages the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong,” Lee said. “So, the central government is strongly opposed to Occupy Central.”

Occupy Central is a civil disobedience movement which has planned a protest for universal suffrage in July this year in Central, Hong Kong.

“Your media companies have, I should say, contributed much in fostering a smooth handover of Hong Kong back to the mainland and protecting Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability,” Li told more than 20 media executives in Beijing on Thursday morning.

He also urged the executives to see the “bigger picture” and lead society in reaping the benefits of China’s reforms and development.

“I hope the media of Hong Kong could consider the collective benefits of the country and Hong Kong society and operate objectively, fairly, and impartially to lead society to grasp the new opportunities that have come with the country’s reforms and developments,” Li said.

He also reiterated the need for Hong Kong to come to a consensus on universal suffrage pragmatically, and that constitutional development must proceed in accordance with the Basic Law and the relevant interpretation and decisions of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, Lee said. However Li did not comment on proposed solutions to the deadlock over the 2017 chief executive election.

The meeting also discussed the Chinese economy and the relationship between Hong Kong and the mainland.

Lee said the meeting had not been set up for Beijing to convey messages to the media executives, adding that the delegation had the authority to ask whatever questions it wanted.

The delegation is due to meet Wang Guangya, director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, on Thursday afternoon and officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday.

http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/article/1495911/li-yuanchao-slams-occupy-central-illegal-movement-impedes-universal

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