Illustration: Liu Rui/GT
The past year has seen an increasing number of conflicts between the mainland and Hong Kong, which is a hot topic during the annual "two sessions." How can the problems be solved? Can Hong Kong members of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) play a role? Global Times reporter Yu Jincui interviewed three CPPCC members from Hong Kong.
Don't hype conflicts
Hon Tam Yiu-chung, member of the CPPCC and member of Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
There are 25 CPPCC members in the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, and we handed in a total of 20 proposals this year, most of which are related to relations with the mainland. I hope the central government can pay special attention to the problem.
Hong Kong's recent restrictions on carrying baby formula from Hong Kong to the mainland have stirred much controversy.
Formula is a unique product, and there is a huge demand in the mainland that Hong Kong finds it hard to satisfy. Given the limited supply of formula in Hong Kong, it's okay to impose some restrictions when problems happen. It's not meant to hurt mainlanders, and some people are trading formula just for profit.
Discord arising from the interactions between Hong Kong and the mainland is inevitable. Both Hong Kong and the mainland are to blame for the increasing conflicts, but we should avoid exaggerating the conflicts and should tolerate each other.
Currently, Hong Kong and the mainland have a close relationship, and cooperation is good for both. We are the same nation, and should try to understand each other.
Hongkongers ignorant of CPPCC's role
Rosanna Wong Yink-ming, member of the CPPCC
There is one CPPCC National Committee member from Hong Kong for every 30,000 Hongkongers. It's a valuable position for us to participate in discussing governmental and political affairs. But how do ordinary Hongkongers view our CPPCC members? They don't have a good understanding of what the CPPCC is.
Under the implementation of "one country, two systems," CPPCC National Committee members from Hong Kong are expected to play an active dual role in both the mainland and Hong Kong. How can we upgrade our work to a new height of being recognized by more Hongkongers? This deserves our particular attention in the future.
One way is to popularize knowledge of the CPPCC and the National People's Congress (NPC) among Hongkongers. Another is that we can build more influence through better performing the duty of making proposals.
Some are afraid that the work of CPPCC National Committee members and NPC deputies from Hong Kong may interfere in Hong Kong's autonomy. Such worries are superfluous.
Our proposals could better target problems stemming from growing links between mainlanders and Hongkongers, like the formula issue.
We should let Hongkongers know we voice their biggest concerns in the relationship between the mainland and Hong Kong, and also offer valuable suggestions to the central government on how to make the relationship closer.
In a group discussion on this year's work report by Jia Qinglin, chairman of the CPPCC National Committee, on Monday morning by members from Hong Kong, some suggested the CPPCC National Committee members from Hong Kong make a major collective proposal.
The member said we have never seen collective proposals from CPPCC National Committee members from Hong Kong, but only from the individual members.
Since the central government encourages Hong Kong issues to be discussed in the CPPCC, so the Hong Kong members should take the chance to make a proposal that reflects the biggest concern of the people together.
I agree with him. Such a proposal could better impress Hongkongers and help increase the CPPCC's popularity among the Hong Kong public.
William Au Weng-hei, member of the CPPCC and chairman of Hop Ying International Holdings Ltd
As CPPCC members, we should consider what we can do in the next five years. Many Hongkongers don't understand China's political system, and some even hold the CPPCC is nothing but a show. But this is not true.
Generally, relevant authorities should give a response to our proposals within one or two months. The CPPCC can play an important role in participating and discussing political affairs.
Young Hongkongers as well as many adults aren't familiar with our country's situation. Some Hongkongers' feelings toward mainland are negatively affected by their impressions of the mainland after scandals are exposed. A minority of Hongkongers exaggerate the loopholes and problems of the mainland's political system.
Last year, the introduction of the national education stirred up controversy among the Hong Kong public and left the government with egg on its face. I feel rather sorry for that.
In fact, every country has its national education, and the implementation of "one country, two systems" is not an excuse for being ignorant of the whole country's conditions.
Nevertheless, when carrying out national education, we should take our time and try to avoid aggravating conflicts.
It takes time and needs patience for Hongkongers to deepen their understandings of our country. We could promote national history and culture first, then enhance people's knowledge of the mainland's political and economic history.