Top Chinese Official in Hong Kong to Discuss Election Postponement

Deputy director of the State Council's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office met five members of the Basic Law Committee.

A top Chinese official on Hong Kong affairs has arrived to meet various sectors, including legal experts, on the postponement of the city's Legislative Council (Legco) elections, a media report said on Monday.

Sources told the South China Morning Post newspaper that Zhang Xiaoming, deputy director of the State Council's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, met five members of the Basic Law Committee in Hong Kong on Sunday to get their views on the legal issues arising from the postponement.

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Disagreement Over Barred Lawmakers

Zhang's meetings in Hong Kong came as two pro-Beijing heavyweights, Jasper Tsang and Tam Yiu-chung, disagreed over whether four opposition lawmakers, who have been barred from seeking re-election, should continue to serve in Legco in the coming year.

On July 29, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced that the Legco polls, originally expected to be held on September 6, would be postponed for a year.

Standing Committee to Meet In Beijing

Lam wrote to the State Council, which asked China's top legislative body, the National People's Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC), to issue a directive on the outstanding legal and constitutional questions, such as whether Legco's four-year term could be extended.

The standing committee is scheduled to meet again in Beijing from August 8 to 11. Even though its agenda has yet to include any items related to Hong Kong, Tam Yiu-chung, the city's sole delegate to the NPCSC, believes that could be added later.