Hong Kong’s new pro-establishment political party wants “100 years of one country, two systems”

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A group of senior finance executives in Hong Kong announced the founding of a pro-establishment political party, made up mostly of mainland-born business and finance professionals who have settled in the city.

News of the new Bauhinia party has sparked excitement and speculation as to whether the group is being sanctioned by Beijing for competing with – or undermining – existing pro-government groups in the city, now that pro-democracy politicians have left the Empty city legislative council.

Photo: Government of Hong Kong.

Democrats resigned in protest last month after Beijing allowed the government to oust four other democratically elected lawmakers.

The new party is co-founded by Sichuan-born banker Li Shan, Clement Chen Jianwen and Wang Chau-Chi, according to local media citing the group’s company registration documents. Chen and Li are respectively president and consultant of an alumni association in Hong Kong for the Chinese Communist Party school called the Chinese Academy of Governance Industrial and Commercial Professionals Alumni Association (CAGA), News from the stand reported Wednesday.

The association maintains close ties with the Beijing office in Hong Kong. Last year, it hosted a forum attended by senior officials from the Bauhinia Villia Liaison Office in Shenzhen. The villa is known to be a meeting place for senior Chinese officials and Hong Kong officials and politicians. Chen has attended public events and delivered speeches as the head of CAGA in the past, and held events at a Hong Kong police station to show CAGA’s support for the force, according to News from the stand.

Citing sources, the digital media reported that many top “Haigui” officials among Chinese financial institutions and state-owned companies in the city have received invitations to join the party. “Haigui” is a term for people from the mainland who returned after studying abroad.

Pro-establishment financial industry lawmaker Christopher Cheung, however, said HKFP that he only learned of the existence of the party through the media. “They haven’t contacted us,” he said, although he knew “one of the founders” of the financial industry “pretty well”.

Legislative Council building in Hong Kong. Photo: Wikicommons.

Another pro-establishment lawmaker from the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions, Aron Kwok, also said HKFP he was not aware of the group before the media reports.

“100 years of one country, two systems”

In a speech at an academic forum at Tsing Hua University in late November, Li – a Credit Suisse board member who has lived in Hong Kong for two decades – said he and other graduates had “Learned from the Communist Party” and founded the Bauhinia party on March 1. They registered the organization as a limited liability company after notifying CEO Carrie Lam of its creation in a letter. A forum transcript was posted on Weibo and reported by SCMP.

While the new party was seen as a party for elite mainland immigrants who settled in Hong Kong after returning from overseas, another party co-founder and Guangzhou-born chairman of the CMMB Vision holdings , Wong Chau-Chi, said Sing Tao Daily that the party did not want to be labeled because it hoped to represent the interests of Hong Kong people.

The party was founded by more than a dozen people, said Wong, who largely grew up in the city and studied abroad. He said the party was not a party for “immigrants from the mainland who have returned abroad”.

Bauhinia party co-founders Li Shan, Wong Chau-chi and Clement Chan. (From left to right). Photos: Internet.

The party’s constitution indicated that it would seek “50 more years – without change – and one hundred years of one country, two systems” Sing Tao reported.

The party seeks to “unite the citizens of Hong Kong, regardless of their political spectrum, to build a beautiful house together,” Li said in his speech in November, “but on the assumption that the party will support ‘One Country’. , two systems, ‘likes the country and Hong Kong, protects the rule of law and opposes discrimination against communities.

“Hong Kong’s main problem is with the Legislative Council,” Li said, as he described it as a body made up of several political parties comparable to an opposition party with veto power. Instead, he proposed that Hong Kong could follow the Chinese model of “consultative democracy” and the Western model of a bicameral legislature with an “upper” house.

Li frequently writes articles and gives interviews to the mainland press. His online biographies show that he is the CEO of Silk Road Financial Corporation, a member of the Tsinghua Institute for Governance Studies, as well as a representative of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), a political body on the mainland. The banker earned a doctorate in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a master’s degree in economics from the University of California at Davis.


Additional reporting: Candice Chau.


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