「¶3. (C) Another factor contributing to the HKG’s more aggressive stance is the high level of public support for greater involvement in the next FYP. The Central Policy Unit (CPU – the Hong Kong government’s in-house think-tank) recently conducted a poll that revealed more than 70 percent of respondents felt Hong Kong needed greater participation in drafting the next FYP. A similar proportion hoped the plan would elaborate on the city’s role in China’s development. CPU Senior Researcher Shiu Sin-por noted that, in contrast, previous polls on Hong Kong’s relationship with China showed Hong Kongers did not care about the issue in 1992 and were extremely resistant to engaging the Mainland in 1997. The Hong Kong public no longer feared that China would take over planning for Hong Kong, Shiu contended. (Note: Shiu reportedly was brought into CPU for his research background and knowledge of Hong Kong and mainland issues. A local deputy to the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Shiu is seen by many as a Beijing ally with strong views against Hong Kong’s democratization. End Note)
Ching similarly felt that Hong Kongers had largely abandoned the concern that China would “contaminate” Hong Kong.
4. (C) According to Shiu, since at least 2007, Chief Secretary Henry Tang has headed a steering committee
comprised of representatives from key policy bureaus to examine ways the HKG can play a meaningful role in the 12th
FYP planning process. The effort, coordinated by the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau (CMAB) and supported by CPU, aims to engage the Mainland in eight areas — finance, education and training, environment,
high-tech/new-tech, culture, creative industries, regional development/infrastructure, and transport/logistics. The
policy bureaus responsible for the eight areas were expected to draft “mini five-year plans” that would discuss specific projects and initiatives for Beijing to consider for the FYP, Shiu explained. CPU hoped to see these plans completed early so NDRC would have them as references before drafting of the FYP begins in mid-2010. Shiu warned that once the NDRC put pen to paper, it would be “extremely difficult” to get substantive changes made
(C) Shiu explained that this effort had already seen unprecedented levels of engagement between Hong Kong
officials and academics and mainland counterparts in the past year. CPU organized a two-day conference in Hong Kong in September where day two consisted of closed-door one-on-one discussions between Hong Kong and NDRC officials. Similarly, twenty Hong Kong academics in October joined top officials from NDRC and the central government’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office for a closed-door seminar. Director of One Country, Two Systems (OCTS – a well-connected and well-funded think-tank whose chairman is C.Y.Leung, the Executive Council convenor widely touted as a top contender to become Hong Kong’s next Chief Executive) Cheung Chi Kong told us his institute also had helped facilitate trips for Hong Kong economic experts to meet with mainland counterparts. CPU hoped to organize another seminar in June for both sides to further examine how Hong Kong’s proposals could complement the Mainland’s economic needs, said Shiu.
(C) Despite increased interaction between Hong Kong officials and mainland economic planners, Shiu was concerned
that Hong Kong bureaucrats lacked an understanding of China’s political culture and process. Shiu said CPU was trying to convince Hong Kong officials they needed to propose very specific, well-thought out and researched projects for Beijing’s consideration. Otherwise, Beijing might simply include some perfunctory language about Hong Kong in the FYP.
No concrete action would follow if Hong Kong did not table viable plans. The goal, Shiu insisted, was not to just get a mention in the FYP but actually get the central government to commit to specific initiatives. Furthermore, Shiu worried CMAB lacked the manpower and expertise to properly coordinate the government’s efforts. While he was encouraged by Chinese State Councilor Liu Yandong’s recent comments about the central government studying what functions Hong Kong and Macau could serve in China’s reforms and devising a mechanism for the two territories’ participation, Shiu cautioned it was still very difficult to predict how big a role Beijing will allow Hong Kong to play.」
「In recent days, media have quoted anonymous Beijing-connected politicos as saying the HKSARG’s new proposal would be essentially the same as was offered in 2005, including the five-and-five increase for LegCo and participation by appointed District Councilors in electing the new legislators. Central Policy Unit (CPU – the HKSARG’s in-house think-tank) member Shiu Sin-por told us October 29 he believed the reports were accurate. He also told us that, although CE Donald Tsang Yam-kuen had lobbied for more reforms, this was all Beijing was willing to give. While Tsang pledged in his 2007 election campaign to solve universal suffrage during his term (words to which the pan-democrats continue to hold him) and earlier this year that the new proposal would not simply be 2005 redux, Shiu says Tsang did not clear either promise with Beijing.
(C) As noted above, CPU’s Shiu believes Beijing has set the limits of what the HKSARG can put on the table for 2012. He put the HKSARG’s continued refusal to discuss any elections beyond 2012 in the Beijing context, reminding us 2012 will be a leadership transition year for the PRC as well. Just as Tsang has argued he cannot tie the hands of his successor, Shiu told us Beijing does not want to bind the Fifth Generation leadership on future Hong Kong policy. Shiu also told us that while Vice President Xi Jinping may oversee Hong Kong policy, President Hu Jintao himself makes the final decisions on major issues.
(C) Shiu insisted Beijing wanted to resolve universal suffrage in Hong Kong because the issue had dragged on for
twenty years to the distraction of other, more important concerns. That said, Beijing does not want to lose control. For that reason, Shiu said Beijing would make sure the final form of the CE nomination and election process will not allow Hong Kong to elect someone Beijing will not be willing to appoint as CE. Beijing is not confident that the Hong Kong people would not elect someone unacceptable (a possibility most observers in Hong Kong dismiss.) 」