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Tuesday, November 29, 2016, 23:26

Stand up to separatism: Zhang

By Luis Liu in Hong Kong

NPCSC chairman expresses his faith in the majority of the Hong Kong people.

Stand up to separatism: Zhang
Zhang Dejiang (second right), chairman of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, shakes hand with Robert Chow Yung, convener of Silent Majority for Hong Kong, when meeting delegates from the group in Beijing on Tuesday. Zhang Xiaoming (right), director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong SAR, also attended the meeting. (Yao Dawei / Xinhua)

Hong Kong people should stand firm against separatism—otherwise it will jeopardize the city’s prosperity and ultimately hurt the country’s fundamental interests, the central government’s top official in charge of Hong Kong affairs said on Tuesday.

Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPCSC), made the remarks before a two-hour closed-door meeting in Beijing with a delegation from Silent Majority for Hong Kong.

NPCSC chairman expresses his faith in the majority of the Hong Kong people

He also expressed his faith in the majority of the Hong Kong people, reiterating his belief in the “One Country, Two Systems” policy and the future development of Hong Kong and the country.

This was the first time that Beijing’s top official in charge of Hong Kong affairs met with

political groups from the city after the nation’s top legislature, the NPCSC, adopted earlier this month an interpretation on Article 104 of the Basic Law. This set out clear guidelines over oath-taking requirements for senior officials, lawmakers and judges in the city.

Zhang stressed the importance of awareness of the perils that separatism would bring to the SAR. Although very few people in Hong Kong advocate it, the public cannot be complacent, Zhang said. He urged people to stop the spread of separatist ideas as ordinary people could suffer from its consequences.

He said Beijing is resolute in implementing the “One Country, Two Systems” policy in Hong Kong and safeguarding the country’s sovereignty and national security. That is also the intention of the Basic Law interpretation, he explained.

Zhang said Beijing will never withdraw its support for the city. He expressed his trust in Hong Kong people and confidence in the SAR’s future development.

Zhang added he also hoped Hong Kong could actively join the nation’s great rejuvenation.

He praised Silent Majority for Hong Kong’s work in setting up a platform for people to speak out. He encouraged the group to continue its work to gather people’s opinions and to unite society.

READ MORE: Beijing adopts HKSAR Basic Law interpretation

“Beijing hopes to communicate with any person or organization in Hong Kong who supports ‘One Country, Two Systems’, upholds the Basic Law, and loves the country and the Chinese nation,” Zhang said.

Beijing also welcomes them to come to the mainland and see for themselves the changes and development taking place, Zhang said.

After the meeting, convener of the group Robert Chow Yung reiterated Zhang’s remarks. He said he hoped Hong Kong people would uphold the “One Country, Two Systems” principle and rule of law. They should also stay focused on social development without being distracted by political wrangling.

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