The co-founder of Hong Kong’s new pro-establishment Bauhinia Party said he believed his party had Beijing’s support, since it was a capable group with constructive ideas.
In an interview with Apple Daily, Charles Wong said the Bauhinia Party did not notify Beijing when it was formed last year but added that another co-founder, Li Shan, was able to meet many officials while attending the annual session of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference in March. This made him feel they had the “blessing” of Beijing, Wong said.
Wong did not comment on whether Li met with Xia Baolong, the director of the State Council’s Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office.
The party’s website started running in April with a manifesto stating that it hoped to seek another 50 years for the “one country, two systems” principle. Other goals included running in elections, nurturing talents for the government, and reaching a target party membership of 250,000.
State mouthpieces in Hong Kong have yet to report on the party. Wong said the China liaison office’s Bauhinia magazine had covered them, and that the central government attached importance to the publication.
The party’s work was in line with the central government’s wish for the long-term prosperity of Hong Kong, which was why it was certainly supported by Beijing, Wong added.
The existing pro-Beijing camp has not extended a warm welcome to the new party. Wong said that others may still have some misunderstanding about the Bauhinia Party, which aimed to unite Hong Kong and solve problems. His party was still learning and may not be ready for elections this year, he added.
Wong subtly criticized the pro-Beijing camp for knowing how to execute policies but not how to govern, which has led to failures to seek change for the city and has caused protests to arise.
Beijing scholar Tian Feilong had slammed some in the pro-Beijing camp as “loyal garbage.” Asked to comment on Tian’s comment, Wong said it reflected how some people were not proactive in their duties and how it was not enough to just be loyal.
Asked if he would support Carrie Lam’s reelection as Hong Kong’s leader, Wong said his party had no answer as to who it would support, but it would support the Hong Kong chief executive regardless and provide the talent to improve governance.
The Bauhinia Party has often been seen as a group of mainland-born Hongkongers. Wong said he came to the city with his mother when he was 12. After graduating from the Diocesan Boys’ School, he received a scholarship to study in the U.S. before returning to Hong Kong. He is a Hongkonger like any other, he said.
His party has 100 members from all sorts of backgrounds, and the only requirement was that they must respect China and the “one country, two systems” principle, he said.
Wong did not rule out the possibility of his party members who sit on the Chief Executive Election Committee nominating democrats to run in elections.
Democrats would still have room in politics, as Hongkongers were historically patriotic, he said. A person is a patriot if they respect one country, support two systems and protect Hong Kong from destruction, he added.
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