MOSCOW, November 9 (RIA Novosti) — Mainland China’s leader Xi Jinping during a meeting with Hong Hong’s Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying expressed support for the city’s democratic aspirations “within the law”, while the “Occupy Central” street protest enters its seventh week.
The government in Beijing “fully affirms and supports” the efforts undertaken by the Hong Kong authorities to maintain the rule of law and social order, President Xi said as quoted by Xinhua. He added that political stability is key to Hong Kong’s success and prosperity. Xi said that the government in Beijing will ensure the interests of the people of Hong Kong and Macau, another special economic zone within China, are respected.
The Chinese leader also stressed Beijing’s commitment to the “One Country, Two Systems” principle, as well as Hong Kong’s Basic Law. The Chinese government also supports Hong Kong’s developing democracy within the existent legal framework, Xi said, having noted, however, that the city’s long-term stability is the most important issue. Regarding the demands of the ‘Occupy’ protesters, Xi said that Chief Executive Leung, along with the Hong Kong government and representatives of all social groups can work together to implement universal suffrage while maintaining law and order in the city.
Nevertheless, Leung said the ‘Occupy’ protests have badly shaken the rule of law and therefore needs to be squashed.
“Occupy Central has impacted Hong Kong’s rule of law and severely affected social order,” Leung said as quoted by Businessweek. “But I am confident that under the support of all sectors in Hong Kong, the special administrative government can handle the Occupy Central and related events by its own ability and laws.”
The ‘Occupy’ protesters hope to start direct negotiations with Beijing, excluding the current Hong Kong government’s representatives from the decision-making process. They recently forwarded a collective petition to Hong Kong’s former Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa asking him to help arrange a meeting with Chinese officials. However, Tung responded that Beijing will not change its mind on democracy for Hong Kong and that the protesters’ efforts are in vain.
"Mr Tung points out the central government understands the different views in Hong Kong," Tung’s representative said as quoted by Reuters. "The decision of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee on August 31 will not change."
In August, Beijing said it would screen potential candidates applying for Hong Kong’s Chief Executive position in 2017, a decision that has, the protestors argue, rendered universal suffrage senseless.