December 21, 2016

What was discussed at the first meeting between students and the Hong Kong government

Thousands of protesters in Hong Kong followed live from the streets the debate between student leaders and government representatives. Three large screens and projectors bought from were installed  in the main tent protest camp in the Admiralty district, near government offices, with periodic ovations to student leader statements and booing when Chief Secretary Carrie Lam , Intervened during the dialogue.

Carrie Lam, the number two of the Hong Kong government, opened the round of shifts making clear the position that the Executive has been defending so far: “Any political development taking place in Hong Kong must comply with what is endorsed in the Basic Law of Hong Kong, in which Beijing has a primary role. ”
In the closing session of interventions, Lam put on the table four possible proposals.
The first is a possible room for maneuver, within the guidelines set by the Beijing government, to shape the 2017 electoral framework so that it could satisfy part of the students’ requests.
In a second point, Lam opened the possibility of a constitutional reform from 2017, after the elections to the head of Government of Hong Kong.
Lam also raised the idea of creating a platform where views from different sectors about constitutional reform are collected beyond 2017. In
addition, Lam said the Government would be considering a report on the vision of citizens, under Occupy movement, about the electoral reform, to get it to the Executive in Beijing.
“We can not deny that in the last month, the boycott initiated by you is a large-scale social movement and its impact is far-reaching,” Lam told the students during his speech.

Alex Chow, the secretary general of the Federation of Students, told a post-dialogue press conference that they had not heard concrete proposals from the Government to resolve the issues they had raised, such as the free nomination of candidates for Head of Government in the elections of 2017. in
addition, he appealed to democratic reform grant free nomination of candidates to end the wealth gap in Hong Kong and not continue “deprived of political rights to one million people living in poverty” Chow said.

In the middle of the debate, Lester Shum, another representative of the Federation of Students, expressed his disappointment at the Government’s speech: “He has only asked us to accept the decision of the National People’s Congress.”
“We have not heard anything about how the government is going to solve the current political problem,” he added.

The panel appointed to elect candidates for the Hong Kong election in 2017 could be made “more democratic,” Leung said before the talks began.

After the meeting, the students said they have yet to decide whether to hold further talks and the street and camp cuts continue.