US embassy cable - 06HONGKONG1394

MFA COMMISSIONER LU XINHUA'S MESSAGE TO THE CG

Identifier: 06HONGKONG1394
Wikileaks: View 06HONGKONG1394 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Consulate Hong Kong
Created: 2006-04-04 04:30:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PREL PGOV PINR HK CH
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
VZCZCXRO1148
OO RUEHCN
DE RUEHHK #1394/01 0940430
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 040430Z APR 06
FM AMCONSUL HONG KONG
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5895
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 8411
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 2437
RUEHGP/AMEMBASSY SINGAPORE 2796
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 3974
RUEHCN/AMCONSUL CHENGDU 0777
RUEHGZ/AMCONSUL GUANGZHOU 9636
RUESLE/AMCONSUL SHANGHAI 2412
RUEHSH/AMCONSUL SHENYANG 3263
RUEHIN/AIT TAIPEI 3750
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HONG KONG 001394 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR EAP, EAP/CM 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/04/2031 
TAGS: PREL, PGOV, PINR, HK, CH 
SUBJECT: MFA COMMISSIONER LU XINHUA'S MESSAGE TO THE CG 
 
REF: A. HONG KONG 947 
 
     B. HONG KONG 851 
 
Classified By: Consul General James B. Cunningham.  Reasons: 1.4 (b,d). 
 
1.  (C) Begin Summary: Newly arrived MFA Commissioner Lu 
Xinhua invited Consul General Cunningham to a private lunch 
on April 3 to cordially but clearly reiterate that consulates 
in Hong Kong should not interfere in Hong Kong's affairs.  He 
raised also the activities in Hong Kong of U.S. NGO's with 
Hong Kong political parties, signaling that their work would 
be under scrutiny and perhaps that Lu will be taking a 
tougher line than his predecessor.  Cunningham responded that 
the U.S. and China both have an interest in Hong Kong's 
success, that most of the time we would agree, but that 
sometimes we would not.  He assured Lu that he would always 
be available to discuss with Lu if he had questions about 
U.S. activities or statements.  Cunningham told Lu that U.S. 
NGO work on political development was technical, not 
partisan, and that the pro-Beijing DAB had availed itself of 
such training.  Lu indicated cautious interest in the new 
Civic Party as a possible interlocutor.  End Summary 
 
2.  (C) Commissioner Lu briefly reviewed the local political 
situation.  He expected that the Constitutional Affairs 
Bureau would prepare some comments and proposals on political 
reform in the first half of next year.  The central 
government remained firmly committed to realizing the 
ultimate aim of universal suffrage, as stipulated in the 
Basic Law, but it was necessary to move gradually due to the 
lack of consensus in Hong Kong society, and the danger of 
social instability if there was sudden change. Cunningham 
said we understood Beijing's concern for stability, and the 
need for Hong Kong itself to find more consensus on the way 
forward in expanding democracy.  We would be following the 
discussion in Hong Kong and in the Strategic Development 
Commission. 
 
Get to know all the parties 
--------------------------- 
 
3. (C) Commissioner Lu noted that the "Article 45 Concern 
Group" had recently formed a political party, the "Civic 
Party."  The central government was aware that the Civic 
Party sought understanding and dialogue with the authorities 
in Beijing, but for now the central government wanted to 
examine the Civic Party's words and actions carefully in 
order to understand what role the party might play. 
Mentioning that he recently met with leaders of the 
Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Prosperity of Hong 
Kong (DAB), Commissioner Lu applauded the CG's plans to meet, 
in the near future, with the DAB leadership.  Lu believed 
that the CG would benefit from learning the DAB's views.  The 
CG responded that he looked forward to the scheduled meeting 
with the DAB, and noted that in fact he frequently saw both 
DAB Chairman Ma Lik and former Chair Tsang Yok-tsing, as he 
did leaders of other parties such as the Liberal Party and 
the Democratic Party. 
 
A Warning 
--------- 
 
4. (C) Commissioner Lu observed that there were many American 
Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Hong Kong, and said 
that under the Basic Law, Hong Kong political parties were 
not allowed to have formal relations with or accept money 
from foreign organizations or parties.  (Note:  According to 
Article 23 of the Basic Law, the "Hong Kong Special 
Administrative Region shall enact laws on its own...to 
prohibit political organizations or bodies of the Region from 
establishing ties with foreign political organizations or 
bodies."  Although the HKG has not, as yet, enacted such 
legislation, the intent of the Basic Law drafters appears to 
be that foreign ties should be prohibited.  This article of 
the Basic Law is evidently what Commissioner Lu had in mind. 
End note.) 
 
5. (C) The CG responded that, in fact, there were not that 
many U.S. NGOs active in Hong Kong.  Most of them focused 
their work on the mainland, even though they were based in 
Hong Kong.  Generally their mainland activities were aimed at 
 
HONG KONG 00001394  002 OF 002 
 
 
the promotion of civil society, and were done in cooperation 
with the Chinese government.  One, (the National Democratic 
Institute), to his knowledge, did have programs in Hong Kong 
directed at political party development, for example training 
in fund-raising or how to make use of polling data.  These 
programs were purely technical, and were available to all 
political parties in Hong Kong; in fact, the DAB had made 
good use of several of these seminars.  There was no effort 
to promote a particular political point of view or agenda. 
Cunningham 

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