Revue de presse du 27 avril 2015

Keywords: “Socialist Core Values,” feminist activists, “One Belt, One Road” initiative, Cross-Strait Relations, Taiwan, Hong Kong


Action plan on cultivating and practicing Socialist Core Values

  1. In December 2013, CCP issued guidelines on bolstering core socialist values and pooling positive energy to realize the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation. Core socialist values should be included in the overall national education plan and “cover all schools and those receiving education”. Recently, Ministry of Propaganda/Central “Civilization” Office released an action plan: //中央宣传部、中央文明办近日印发《培育和践行社会主核心价值观方案》,提出要坚持以理想信念教育为核心,深入学习宣传贯彻习近平总书记系列重要讲话精神,深化中国特色社会主义、中国梦和中国道路学习宣传教育,引导人们坚定理想信念,增强道路自信、理论自信、制度自信。(人民网 4月17日) 从党的十六大提出社会主义核心价值观,到十八大首次用“富强、民主、文明、和谐,自由、平等、公正、法治,爱国、敬业、诚信、友善”12个词对其进行概括,再到现在印发《培育和践行社会主义核心价值观行动方案》,体现出党中央持续加强精神文明建设的积极信号。而培育和践行社会主义核心价值观正是加强精神文明建设的“路基”。// Source: People’s Daily
  2. Ren Zhongping of People’s Daily (a homophone for “the important commentary of People’s Daily”) published a long piece to argue that “socialist core values” are the common divisor of cohering values of contemporary China. Notice the emphasis on national rejuvenation and the need for soft power: //一个真正的大国,不是靠卖产品给世界就可以的,它更需要在思想理念、价值观念上,拥有影响这个世界的力量。面对复杂严峻的国际竞争,我们应该怎样锻造文化软实力,确立自己的“国家哲学”?// Source: People’s Daily
  3. Meanwhile, China defines overall national security outlook in draft law: // A draft law on the overall national security strategy, which highlighted political and public security, was heard by the top legislature on Monday. The national security law was tabled for its second reading during the bimonthly session of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), which runs from Monday to Friday. Compared to its first reading, the draft for the second reading clearly defined the overall national security outlook put forward by President Xi Jinping at the first meeting of the National Security Commission in April last year. Xi, who heads the commission, in April said that a “national security path with Chinese characteristics” should be explored. He said a system should be built that covers politics; territory; military; economy; culture; society; science and technology; information; ecology; nuclear; and natural resources. // Source: Xinhua
    i.     New law vows to protect overseas NGO: // A new clause was added to a draft law on the regulation of overseas NGOs, which was reviewed for the second time by the top legislature on Monday. Compared to its first reading, the current draft adds that activities of overseas NGOs that conform with the law are protected by Chinese law. The first draft said overseas NGOs were not allowed to establish branches in China. However, as some overseas NGOs, especially in the fields of science and technology, already have branches in China and their presence is supported by a number of government policies, the new draft was amended. It now reads that overseas NGOs are not allowed to establish branches unless the State Council has other regulations. // Source: Xinhua

 Ongoing crackdown on civil society

  1. After being released on bail (while remaining as suspects), feminist activists describe detention and interrogation techniques. Li issued a statement to Simon Denyer of the Washington Post: // “The reason why I became a feminist is simple: I’m a woman and I found the world is unequal,” Li wrote. “It’s important for women to stand up for themselves because only they know their needs.” […] Before her release, police forced Li to sign a pledge not to talk to the media, something her lawyer, Wang Yu, said has no basis in Chinese law. Nevertheless, Li appears determined not to be silenced entirely. Interrogated 49 times during her detention, under strong lights and for up to eight hours at a time, Li said one police officer “spat” smoke into her face many times during the questioning, while several insulted her for being a lesbian and called her shameless. On one night, she was only allowed two hours sleep. “They kept telling me I was being taken advantage of, that I was being used,” she wrote. “After 10 days, even I doubted if I had been wrong. I asked myself over and over again, ‘Am I being used? Has anyone ever forced me?’ ” // Source: Washington Post
  2. Girlfriend of Li Tingting is interviewed: // “‘Feminism is my soul,’” Teresa quoted Li as saying. “‘I thought a lot and came to believe what I do cannot be wrong. My belief is firmer. Feminism will surely be inseparable from me.’” // Source: Independent
  3. Another activist Wei Tingting—director of Ji’ande (际安德), a Beijing-based L.G.B.T. rights organization—also discussed the tactics used by her interrogators to get her to confess during her detention. // Ms Wei was reluctant to give too much detail about her treatment in the detention centre or the interrogation techniques used as she remains on bail. However, she did describe some of her experiences. “I can say it objectively: the officers used some tactics during interrogations in the hope that you will confess or admit to the crimes,” she said. “They use some methods to trick you; to make you speak more. I don’t want to talk more details about it. They do have their ways to obtain information they want to get.”// Source: Sky News
  4. One reason that the five activists have become “influential advocates” is because their work has been enabled and expanded by the Internet. Hong Kong-based activist Zeng Jinyan noted: // The internet, though subject to powerful censorship, is providing these activists with a place to organise. Filtered social media platforms – such as WeChat and Weibo – are used for raising awareness with wider audiences in China, while discussions about strategy are moved to diverse encrypted mobile applications, such as Surespot. As one application becomes popular, and therefore risky, new non-mainstream platforms are introduced. The ability to connect virtually is fostering a sense of emotional affiliation within the community, as well as the ability to mobilise en masse. […] The broader movement of clued-up activists, to which these five belong, has taken university gender programmes and been exposed to the likes of the Vagina Monologues (local versions of which were put on in theatres in various Chinese cities through the 2000s). In this digital age, it is not as hard for ordinary people to access this kind of revolutionary information. // Source: Guardian

 China’s policy on ethnic minorities

  1. Tibetan Studies professor Gray Tuttle analyzes ethnic prejudice and racism in Chinese society, and how this manifests as political, economic, and social discrimination: // […A]nalyses of China’s troubles in Tibet and other areas that are home to large numbers of ethnic minorities often miss a crucial factor. Many observers, especially those outside China, see Beijing’s repressive policies toward such places primarily as an example of the central government’s authoritarian response to dissent. Framing the situation that way, however, misses the fact that Beijing’s hard-line policies are not merely a reflection of the central state’s desire to cement its authority over distant territories but also an expression of deep-seated ethnic prejudices and racism at the core of contemporary Chinese society. In that sense, China’s difficulties in Tibet and other regions are symptoms of a deeper disease, a social pathology that is hardly ever discussed in China and rarely mentioned even in the West. When placed next to the challenge of maintaining strong economic growth, fighting endemic corruption, and managing tensions in the South China Sea, China’s struggle with the legacy and present-day reality of ethnic and racial prejudice might seem unimportant, a minor concern in the context of the country’s rise. In fact, Beijing’s inability (or unwillingness) to confront this problem poses a long-term threat to the central state. The existence of deep and broad hostility and discrimination toward Tibetans and other non-Han Chinese citizens will prevent China from easing the intense unrest that roils many areas of the country. // Source: Foreign Affairs
  2. The Time reported on the rebuilding of quake-devastated Jyekundo (Yushu in Chinese), where relief and rebuilding has come with significant numbers of Han authorities and at cultural cost to local Tibetans: // the story of Yushu/Jyekundo feels like the story of contemporary Tibet told in fast-forward. The earthquake’s destruction sped the influx of non-Tibetans to the once isolated town. These CCP-backed soldiers, officials and fortune seekers brought money and resources — first shovels and water, and then scaffolding and cranes. But the help was not offered without condition and has resulted in heightened state control. Take housing. With almost all the city destroyed, the Party vowed to help every family build a new home. Generous. But they did so according to their own logic, and their own plans. Over the last five years, local residents have taken to the streets to protest what they call widespread land confiscation. After losing their homes in the quake, they said, they were evicted to make way for the new, grand city plan. // Source: Time

 Elite power struggle and political underground

  1. Charge Against Security Chief Linked to Bo Xilai Warning? As former security chief Zhou Yongkang awaits trial for “bribery, abuse of power and intentional disclosure of state secrets,” Reuters report that the latter charge may be linked to a warning from Zhou to his protégé Bo Xilai: // Sources with ties to the Chinese leadership said Zhou, 72, stood accused of tipping off Bo that he was about to be sacked in early 2012 as party boss of the southwestern metropolis of Chongqing and a member of the decision-making politburo. […] Before Bo’s downfall, Zhou had recommended that Bo succeed him as domestic security chief on the party’s Politburo Standing Committee – the apex of power in China – sources with direct knowledge of the matter have previously told Reuters. They have also said President Xi Jinping was determined to bring down Zhou for plotting such appointments to try to retain influence after the party’s 18th Congress in November 2012, when Xi took over the party and Zhou retired from the standing committee. // Source: Reuters
  2. The Diplomat examined speculation over the state secrets charges, noting a statement by the Supreme People’s Court in March that Zhou and Bo had “trampled on rule by law, wrecked party unity and engaged in nonorganizational political activities.” // A Beijing Youth Daily article interpreted “nonorganizational political activities” to mean political activities that defy the direction of Party leadership, going against the Party and betraying the Party’s objectives. That same article quoted Zhuang Deshui, an expert on corruption at Peking University, as saying that Zhou and others had tried to follow in the footsteps of China’s infamous “Gang of Four,” who were accused of seizing political power during the Cultural Revolution. That’s the closest Chinese official media has come to substantiating the rumor that Zhou and Bo were actively seeking to wrest power away from Xi Jinping. As Willy Lam, an expert on Chinese domestic politics, told the Washington Post, Zhou and his faction “did not believe that Xi Jinping was qualified to be general secretary.” While Lam says there’s no evidence Zhou and company were planning an actual coup, “they did form an organization inside the party to go against Xi Jinping.” // Source: The Diplomat
  3. A reduced sentence shines light on china’s little-known opposition parties: // The story of Mr. Dong, a resident of eastern China’s Shandong province who allegedly set up his own political party with the intention of overthrowing the Communist Party, was recently uncovered by the San Francisco-based human rights organization Dui Hua. The organization said on Tuesday that the 59-year-old had his 2011 sentence reduced in February so that he will serve only 19 and a half more years, meaning he will be released in August 2034. Court records confirm that the Inner Mongolia High People’s Court approved his sentence reduction on account of good behavior and demonstration of regret. […] According to Dui Hua’s research, Dong established the New Era Communist Party of China — originally called the People’s Party — around 2008 with the aim of fighting corruption. At one early meeting inside an abandoned factory in the Shandong city of Linyi, Mr. Dong and another leader allegedly discussed plans to overthrow the Communist Party. Dui Hua said spotty records suggest the party was active in areas outside Shandong, including Beijing and the impoverished central province of Henan. Duihua said one member of the New Era CCP recruited 200 people to the party, suggesting the organization could have been sizable. The party used a fertilizer symposium as cover for its training program and set up a supermarket management company as a way to raise money, Dui Hua said. […] In a 2003 op-ed for the Washington Post, for example, Mr. Kamm documented heavy sentences handed to two middle-aged farmers who in the mid-1990s had established the Chinese Nation’s People’s Party, which espoused the political philosophy of revered revolutionary leader Sun Yat-sen and had at one point amassed close to 1,000 members across 10 counties. Before that there was the Chinese Plum Nation Party, a sectarian group led by a 50-year-old farmer, which boasted more than 500 members that operated in 17 provinces. // Source: WSJ China Real Time
  4. On ChinaFile, Hu Shuli said that the anti-corruption campaign is becoming increasingly difficult to move the campaign forward. She didn’t explain why, but she argued that the drive must continue forward. // Beijing’s fight against corruption is now two years old. Some significant results have been achieved, winning strong public support. But it’s becoming increasingly difficult to move the campaign forward. […] But now, as the economy slows and political reform becomes more urgent, something needs to be done. The nation’s problems cannot be addressed promptly unless idlers in government offices are dealt with properly. […] The fight against corruption must be strengthened to avoid failure. Officials who procrastinate in hopes of waiting out the campaign are not only uncooperative, but they’re acting maliciously. It proves that they pursued power to satisfy their own greed. Thus, authorities must carry on with the anti-graft drive. Root causes of this idling in government offices can be traced to flaws in the system for recruiting and appointing officials, and to how an official’s on-the-job performance is evaluated. Rules spelling out job requirements are insufficient. Government officials have never been properly encouraged to excel, and they receive few instructions on exactly how they should exercise power. Some wield broad power and are affected by interconnected interests, nepotism, political-business ties, and even politician-gangster relationships. This has formed a giant network of power and special interests. This network has yet to be eliminated by the anti-corruption drive. // Source: ChinaFile
  5. At China Leadership Monitor: Joseph Fewsmith on “China’s Political Ecology and the Fight against Corruption, highlighting political ecology in Shanxi. // Corruption in Shanxi Province is not a new problem and it appears that the central government has been trying to control it, at least to some extent, for some time. There were six Shanxi natives on the 10th standing committee, down from nine on the ninth party committee, suggesting an ongoing effort (in many provinces, not just Shanxi) to reduce local influence and thereby strengthen Beijing’s hand.
    […] On a broader level, the exposure of very tight, personal networks suggests strongly that we have not been witnessing the institutionalization of Chinese politics, as many had hoped, but rather a likely deterioration in institutions. There has always been a tension in the Chinese Communist Party between the personal networks that seem to be essential to getting ahead in politics and the needs of the party to minimize such factionalism. In this case, the balance had obviously tilted very far in the direction of personal networks trumping the party, and one of Xi Jinping’s objectives has been to restore the party as a viable instrument of rule.
    The question for the future is whether Xi can do so. Up to this time, the main effort appears to be strengthening Beijing’s control over the provinces by sending people directly from Beijing to run provincial discipline inspection commissions and subject local discipline inspection commissions to vertical control. In the past, such efforts to strengthen vertical control have encountered opposition from local party secretaries, who feel that their power is being curtailed. Efforts to root out local networks in Shanxi and elsewhere and to strengthen vertical controls, however well intended, will undoubtedly encounter strong resistance. Whether such efforts can really change the way power operates at the local level seems doubtful. // Source: China Leadership Monitor

 A Chart Explains Everything You Need to Know About Chinese Internet Censorship

  1. // But a discerning observer can still sketch out the shadowy form of the (often unwritten) rules that govern the Chinese web. Before posting, a Chinese web user is likely to consider basic questions about how likely a post is to travel, whether it runs counter to government priorities, and whether it calls for action or is likely to engender it. Those answers help determine whether a post can be published without incident—as it is somewhere around 84 percent or 87 percent of the time—or is instead likely to lead to a spectrum of negative consequences varying from censorship to the deletion of a user’s account to his or her detention, or even arrest and conviction. The flowchart below, based on my years following developments in Chinese cyberspace, provides a glimpse into the web of considerations that may determine the fate of a post—or its author. // Source: ChinaFile

 One Belt, One Road initiative, China’s Marshall Plan?

  1. Foreign Affairs’ Jacob Stokes examined the initiative, its economic and diplomatic functions and highlighted its road blocks: // At the end of March, China’s National Development and Reform Commission joined its ministries of foreign affairs and commerce to release an expansive blueprint for what it calls the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road—often shortened to “One Belt, One Road.” If successful, the ambitious program would make China a principal economic and diplomatic force in Eurasian integration. One Belt, One Road calls for increased diplomatic coordination, standardized and linked trade facilities, free trade zones and other trade facilitation policies, financial integration promoting the renminbi, and people-to-people cultural education programs throughout nations in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Some have characterized it as China’s Marshall Plan, but Chinese leaders reject the comparison. As they see it, what they are doing is integrating Eurasia rather than drawing dividing lines, and focusing on economic growth rather than political influence. Yet therein lies the danger; if China does not skillfully balance investments and diplomacy with its search for political influence, it may find itself tangled in conflicts for which it is not prepared.
    […] The One Belt, One Road strategy advances a number of China’s domestic goals that align with Xi’s “China Dream” of national rejuvenation. First among them is bolstering the Chinese economy by providing an outlet for excess industrial capacity. As Beijing tries to cool an overheated domestic infrastructure sector without creating massive unemployment, plans that channel investment-led growth beyond China will be key. Inside China’s borders, the plans focus on China’s relatively underdeveloped western and southern regions, which will help accelerate growth and boost employment there, moves which leaders hope will tamp down ethnic unrest in addition to providing jobs and an outlet for the nation’s workforce. Outside of its borders, China seeks to benefit from trade and currency swaps—reinforcing the international power of the renminbi as a global trade currency. Securing energy deals will help ensure unimpeded supplies as China’s energy demand continues to rise; land-based energy infrastructure specifically can help ease a crippling reliance on sea-borne shipments. With growth in developed economies still sluggish, China sees Asia’s developing economies as sources of growth on its doorstep. The success of One Belt, One Road projects will depend on the cooperation of capricious regional and local leaders. Many leaders, especially in Central Asia and the Middle East, draw from centuries of experience playing foreign powers off one another to gain personal political and financial advantage. Amid intensifying sectarian conflict in the Middle East, for example, Chinese leaders are likely to find it increasingly difficult to balance China’s longstanding ties with Iran and burgeoning relations with Sunni states, led by Saudi Arabia. Sri Lanka’s recent decision to review more than two-dozen projects with Chinese backing provides another case in point. Challenges posed by non-state actors layer on additional political risks that China is unaccustomed to handling. The Taliban in Afghanistan, the Islamic State (also called ISIS) in Iraq and Syria, and the Houthis in Yemen all threaten Chinese investments and key transit points along proposed trade routes.
    One Belt, One Road could stretch China’s foreign policy doctrines and capabilities to a breaking point. // Source: Foreign Affairs
  2. A Q&A about One Road One Belt on CSIS: //There are important economic and geopolitical drivers of the initiative, though Beijing is likely more focused on the former at present given its domestic economic challenges.
    Specifically, the Chinese leadership is struggling to manage a difficult transition to a “new normal” of slower and more sustainable economic growth. The infrastructure projects proposed as part of the Belt and Road—many of which would run through some of China’s poorest and least developed regions—could provide stimulus to help cushion the effects of this deepening slowdown. Beijing is also hoping that, by improving connectivity between its underdeveloped southern and western provinces, its richer coast, and the countries along its periphery, the Belt and Road will improve China’s internal economic integration and competitiveness and spur more regionally balanced growth. Moreover, the construction is intended to help make use of China’s enormous industrial overcapacity and ease the entry of Chinese goods into regional markets. At a time when many large state-owned enterprises are struggling to stay afloat and banks are stuck in a cycle of rolling over ever-growing and progressively less viable loan portfolios, the projects that make up the Belt and Road could provide vital life support and serve as a useful patronage tool for compensating vested interests threatened by efforts to implement market-oriented reforms.
    Does this initiative involve a free trade area or the creation of another kind of international institution? No, this is clearly not a regional free trade area, and it involves no binding state-to-state agreements. Instead, it is at its heart a pledge by China to use its economic resources and diplomatic skill to promote infrastructure investment and economic development that more closely links China to the rest of Asia and onward to Europe. In this regard, it reflects China’s preference to avoid if possible formal treaties with measurable compliance requirements in favor of less formal arrangements that give it flexibility and allow it to maximize its economic and political skills. // Source: CSIS
  3. Michael D. Swaine on “Xi Jinping’s Address to the Central Conference on Work Relating to Foreign Affairs: Assessing and Advancing Major Power Diplomacy with Chinese Characteristics”: // Xi Jinping’s speech before the Central Conference on Work Relating to Foreign Affairs—held from November 28-29, 2014 in Beijing—marks the most comprehensive expression yet of the current Chinese leadership’s more activist and security-oriented approach to PRC diplomacy. Xi’s speech redefined and expanded the function of Chinese diplomacy, presenting it as an instrument for the effective application of Chinese power in support of an ambitious, long-term and more strategic foreign policy agenda. Ultimately, this suggests that Beijing will increasingly attempt to alter some of the foreign policy processes and power relationships that have defined the political, military, and economic environment in the Asia-Pacific region. How the United States chooses to respond to this challenge will determine the Asian strategic landscape for decades to come. // Source: China Leadership Monitor
  4. See other analysis on the initiative
    i. SCMP: ‘One belt, one road’ initiative will define China’s role as a world leader
    ii. The Diplomat: China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ To Where?
  5. The Diplomat: ASEAN Connectivity and China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’
    i.     Jamestown Foundation: Rolling Out the New Silk Road: Railroads Undergird Beijing’s Strategy



 Xi to meet KMT’s new chairman?

  1. The New York Times reports that President Xi Jinping will be meeting with Eric Chu, the new chief of Taiwan’s KMT Party, in Beijing during the first week of May. // President Xi Jinping of China, who is also general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, will meet next month with the chairman of Taiwan’s governing party in Beijing, both sides said on Friday, in what would be the first meeting of the two parties’ leaders since 2009. No major breakthroughs are expected in the May 4 meeting between Mr. Xi and Eric Chu, the chairman of the Nationalist Party, also known as the Kuomintang. “The two sides will have a wide-ranging exchange on the prospects for cross-strait relations, the well-being of people on both sides of the strait and other common issues,” the Kuomintang said in a statement. // Source: New York Times
  2. Cross-strait relations will likely be the main topic: // “Cross-strait harmony is still the dominant concern for the Taiwan electorate across all political preferences. The meeting between the two leaders is to highlight that the KMT is still Beijing’s preferred partner that can be trusted to handle cross-Strait affairs,” said Yen Chen-shen, a political-science professor at Taiwan’s National Chengchi University. The meeting is also a chance for Mr. Chu, who became the KMT chief less than five months ago, to set the tone for future engagements with China, amid concerns that the KMT has become too cozy with Beijing in recent years. Mr. Chu, a moderate who became the KMT chairman in January, has carefully avoided offering firm views on cross-Strait ties. He is widely seen as KMT’s best hope in next year’s presidential race, though he has said he doesn’t intend to run. // Source: The Wall Street Journal
  3. SCMP’s Nectar Gan looks at how making gains on cross-strait ties at the upcoming cross-party meeting can help Chu’s Nationalist Party in next year’s election against the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP): // George Tsai Wei, a professor of political science at Chinese Culture University in Taiwan, said cross-strait ties were a key factor in the election and a difference between the KMT and DPP. “If through this meeting, further substantial achievements can be made, the KMT can put ground between it and the DPP and that would be helpful to the KMT in the election,” Tsai said. Tsai said a substantial achievement could be being granted more flexibility in international diplomacy. // Source: SCMP


Hong Kong

2017 electoral reform proposal out: no surprises

  1. // No surprises as Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor rolled out what she called an equitable final political reform proposal in the Legislative Council today – a plan that was immediately rejected by most pan-democrats.
    i. Each nominating committee member can recommend one person and the number of recommendations one can get will be capped at 240… the system could produce five to 10 candidates.
    ii.     At the voting stage in the nominating committee, each of the 1,200 members casts at least two approval votes among all the contenders. The two to three potential candidates with the highest votes – with a minimum of 600 nominators’ approval – can stand in front of the whole population.
    iii.  The formation of the nominating committee would be modelled on the existing election committee that is tasked to choose the chief executive. That is, the nominating committee will have 1,200 members, 300 each from one of the major sectors – business and commercial, professionals, political, and social and religious – under which there will be 38 sub-sectors.
    iv. Only one round of election, and the candidate with the most votes will win.
    v.  One key question asked by pan-democrats is whether Beijing will allow more improvements if the proposed model for 2017 is approved by the Legislative Council. Lam made it clear that if lawmakers approve the proposal, it would mean the Basic Law’s provision on universal suffrage will have been met. That means there is no constitutional obligation to revise the electoral method unless the chief executive decides to launch a review. // Source: SCMP
  2. Infographics by SCMP to summarize the package and recent developments
  3. Protests against electoral reform package as officials began neighbourhood bus parade: // It was all aboard the electoral reform express yesterday, as officials bounded onto an open-top bus to take their attempts to drum up support right into the heart of the local community in a “flash mob”-style campaign. But opponents of the government’s controversial reform plans were not to be defeated. Despite the fact the three stops – in Kennedy Town, Lok Fu and Tai Po – were announced with just two hours’ notice, Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and co faced dozens of protesters, some with yellow umbrellas. The cries of “2017: Make it Happen” were barely heard as the bus made the briefest of stops. Besides around a hundred democracy advocates from parties and student groups, a few dozen government supporters gathered to shout slogans. Some even set up stages in the hope that officials would stop to address them. // Source: SCMP
  4. Mainland expert on HK Jiang Shigong urged dialogue: // Mobilising public opinion will not be enough to force pan-democrats to support electoral reform, as the crux of the issue is whether they are willing to forge a consensus with Beijing, a mainland expert on Hong Kong affairs says. Jiang Shigong, a core member of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macau Studies, said he hoped Beijing officials and pan-democrats would engage in dialogue. // Source: SCMP
  5. Beijing officials may meet pan-democrats ahead of Hong Kong reform vote: // Beijing officials may meet pan-democratic lawmakers before they vote on the political reform package next month, a mainland official says. The news came as Beijing considered making a law on the “appointment mechanism” for the chief executive in 2017, which is seen by some as a step to add another restriction to its stringent framework for the 2017 poll. The mainland official, who is familiar with Hong Kong affairs, told the Post yesterday to read between the lines of remarks by Vice-President Li Yuanchao, who met a delegation from the New Territories Association of Societies on Monday. // Source: SCMP
  6. EU urges Hong Kong to adopt ‘genuine choice’ in elections amid city’s reform fracas: // The European Union weighed in on Hong Kong’s political reform, saying people should be given a “genuine choice” in electing the city’s leader in 2017. The choice of words echo the calls of pan-democrats, who have vowed not to back the government’s proposal because a nominating committee, expected to be heavily influenced by Beijing, would decide who can and cannot run in the chief executive election. // Source: SCMP

 Shaky times for Hong Kong Federation of Students as it suffered from the third membership pull-out

  1. // The student body that took a leading role in the Occupy Central movement last year is facing a crisis as a third member university disaffiliates from it. The future of the Federation of Students was a “worry”, its secretary general Nathan Law Kwun-chung said yesterday ahead of the results of Baptist University’s student vote, which ended last night with a decision to pull the students’ union out of the body. That poll drew a turnout of 1,678, with 913 agreeing to disaffiliation and 613 saying “no”. A day earlier, Polytechnic University students had arrived at the same outcome, with 1,190 for dissociation and 403 against, out of a 1,700-strong turnout. “If more member institutions quit, we have to face the question: Is the federation still representative? What does it stand for?” Law told the South China Morning Post. // Source: SCMP
  2. Meanwhile, campaigners trying to end Chinese University link to student federation suffered setback, as they could not gather enough signatures to trigger a referendum on the breakaway. Source: SCMP
  3. HKFS, a founding member of pro-democracy alliance might be absent in June Fourth memorial: // 學聯上周暫定將不會出席今年支聯會的六四晚會,亦不會參與支聯會日後的活動。學聯是支聯會的創會成員,這將會是26年首次缺席晚會。學聯解釋,因有個別院校不同意支聯會「建設民主中國」的綱領,在共識下作此決定,至於未來會否退出支聯會,學聯仍在討論,未有定案。支聯會認為學聯有歷史代表性,對該決定表示遺憾及失望。// Source: Mingpao