Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
|Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region|
Entrance on Connaught Road West
The Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is an organ of the Central People's Government of the People's Republic of China in Hong Kong. Its counterpart body in Mainland China is the Office of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in Beijing.
It is responsible for liaisons with the People's Liberation Army Hong Kong Garrison and the Office of the Commissioner of the Chinese foreign ministry in Hong Kong. It is also responsible for liaisons with Chinese companies in Hong Kong, and facilitating economic, cultural, educational, technology and sport exchanges and co-operation between Hong Kong and Mainland China. De facto, the CLO is also the headquarters of the People's Republic of China's United Front in Hong Kong, and therefore the origin of all propaganda efforts carried out in the territory to "win the minds and the hearts" of Hong Kong citizens. For this reason, protests regularly occur before its building.
The office was firstly established in Hong Kong in June 1947 as Xinhua News Agency Hong Kong Branch. The agency opened further district branches on HK Island, in Kowloon and the New Territories in 1985 to expand its influence. It was then renamed with its current name on 18 January 2000. Before the transfer of sovereignty in 1997, it was the de facto diplomatic mission of the People's Republic of China in the territory, since Beijing did not recognise the legitimacy of British colonial rule. The current director of the office is Gao Siren.
Advocacy of a "parallel government"
In January 2008, Cao Erbao, the incumbent head of the research department published an article justifying the need of a parallel, Communist-led government in the SAR in Study Times. It sparked great controversy in some sectors of Hong Kong society, already worried about the growing interference of the People's Republic of China into Hong Kong's political affairs.
Pressure on the press
On 23 March 2012, it was revealed by Democrat CE candidate Ho Chun-yan that "a 'second-tier official' (of the Liaison Office) whose rank was equivalent to that of Cao Erbao or Hao Tiechuan, who are the office's head of research, and the director general of the department of publicity, culture and sports, respectively" had called the Hong Kong Economic Journal to influence the campaign in a sense favourable to candidate Henry Tang. Richard Li Tzar-kai, son of Asia's richest man and sturdy Tang backer, Li Ka-shing, is a majority shareholder of the Hong Kong Economic Journal. The Liaison Office official pressured the director of the Chief Executive's Office, Professor Gabriel Leung, not to release details on the 2001 West Kowloon cultural hub design contest that would damage Leung Chun-ying's (Tang's main rival) candidacy in the poll. Many voices expressed indignation over the issue. Among the most vibrant, Shue Yan University journalism professor Leung Tin-wai's, who claimed the Liaison office was now interfering in the local media in an increasingly open manner. "It is [becoming] a trend … [The office] is now doing it in a more naked manner," he said.
- Office of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in Beijing
- Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Macao Special Administrative Region
- one country, two systems
- Gary Cheung, Fanny W. Y. Fung, "Six arrested for liaison office protest", South China Morning Post, 12 March 2010
- Cheng, Joseph Yu-shek (p.214). "The Emergence of Radical Politics in Hong Kong: Causes and Impact". China Review, Vol. 14, No. 1, Special Issue: Urban and Regional Governance in China (Spring 2014).
- Loh Christine, " A parallel universe ", South China Morning Post, May, 7th 2009
- Cheng Y. S. Joseph, " The democracy movement in Hong Kong ", International Affairs, Vol. 65, No. 3, Summer 1989, pp. 443–462 ; Ma Ngok, " Democracy in Hong-Kong: end of the road or temporary setback? », China Perspectives n. 57, January–February 2005
- Anger at 'Beijing media meddling', Stuart Lau, South China Morning Post, 23 October 2012
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