2013年1月2日 星期三

香港的黃金時代不再 In Hong Kong, Rival Protests Are Divided Over Leader


In Hong Kong, Rival Protests Are Divided Over Leader


HONG KONG — Thousands of demonstrators in rival marches crowded through Hong Kong’s main shopping district on Tuesday to praise or condemn the city’s chief executive, who appears to retain the confidence of leaders in Beijing despite facing criticism here over a series of actions.
The New Year’s Day marches underlined deep political divisions in Hong Kong, a semiautonomous territory that Britain returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

Critics of the chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, accuse him of misleading the public on a controversial real estate issue, and of being a puppet installed by Beijing. Many of his critics also favor greater democracy for Hong Kong, where the chief executive is now chosen by a 1,200-member panel packed with Beijing loyalists; the general public elects half the legislature, while the other half is chosen by business leaders and other groups that also tend to follow Beijing’s wishes.
Mr. Leung’s backers, mainly organized by groups with lavish financial support from Beijing, contend that he is beginning to address deep-seated social issues here. They also tend to suggest that democracy is a Western concept that may not be compatible with local culture or with rapid economic development.
Supporters of Mr. Leung roughed up two local journalists at a separate rally on Sunday; many Beijing loyalists accuse Hong Kong journalists of being biased in favor of democracy.
But the events on Tuesday were largely peaceful. Organizers of two follow-up rallies in favor of Mr. Leung gave crowd estimates totaling 62,500, while a police spokeswoman put the figure at 8,560. Demonstrators seeking Mr. Leung’s resignation were more numerous, with rival groups of organizers providing estimates for a march and a separate rally totaling 142,000 people, while police estimates totaled 28,500.
Mr. Leung, who took office as chief executive on July 1, has faced heavy criticism for concealing during last winter’s election campaign that he had secretly expanded his $64 million home without receiving government planning permission or paying real estate fees due on the expansion.
Mr. Leung has been widely accused of hypocrisy because he won the election partly by criticizing his opponent, Henry Tang, for the unauthorized construction of a huge basement under a villa owned by Mr. Tang’s wife. That construction was also done without government planning permission, which is difficult to obtain, and without making a large payment to the government, which owns virtually all the land in Hong Kong and collects hefty lease payments based mainly on the square footage of developments.
Mr. Leung apologized this autumn for concealing his construction — he even built a false wall to hide his extension right before running for the territory’s top office. But he pointed out that he had not addressed his own compliance with Hong Kong real estate laws during the campaign.
“In fact, in my memory, I did not say I had no illegal structure,” he told the legislature.
Many Hong Kong residents blame growing immigration and tourism from mainland China for driving housing prices to unaffordable levels, for causing overcrowding in local schools and for making it harder for young people to find jobs. Mr. Leung has addressed these issues in his first six months in office by imposing steep taxes this autumn on short-term real estate investments by anyone who is not a permanent resident. He has also banned local hospitals, starting on New Year’s Day, from scheduling any more births for mainland mothers.
Continued support for Mr. Leung from Beijing makes it likely that he will remain in office. When the legislature took up a no-confidence measure three weeks ago, a majority of the lawmakers elected by the general public voted against Mr. Leung, but a majority of lawmakers representing business leaders and other social groups supported him. To pass, a majority of both groups was required.
In separate meetings with Mr. Leung nearly two weeks ago in Beijing, President Hu Jintao of China and Xi Jinping, who became the general secretary of the ruling Communist Party in November and is slated to become China’s next president in March, each said separately that they support Mr. Leung and his administration.
“You have a heavy workload and it is exhausting,” Mr. Xi said. “The central government affirms your work.”
Sprinkled among the protesters against Mr. Leung were a few people carrying the colonial Hong Kong flag that flew over the city during British rule. Beijing officials have asked Hong Kong residents not to display the flag, which they regard as a symbol of past foreign domination and humiliation of China.
Steveny Chan, a young woman who identified herself only as an office worker and carried a roughly 3-foot-by-2-foot colonial flag, said that she did not favor the return of Hong Kong to British rule. She said that she was displaying the flag as a nostalgic symbol of a time when the Hong Kong economy seemed to offer more opportunities for young people, and when Britain, before the return to China, was granting the people of Hong Kong growing autonomy.
“We’re missing the golden old days of Hong Kong,” she said.



香港——周二,數以萬計持對立意見的示威者穿過香港的主要購物區,他們對香港特區行政長官梁振英(Leung Chun-ying)或表達讚賞,或表達譴責。儘管他的一系列行為引起了指責,但中國內地政府的領導人似乎對他仍深信不疑。
梁振英的批評者指責他在引起爭議的房產問題上誤導了公眾,稱他是內地政府安插的傀儡。很多批評他的人也希望香港能享有更廣泛的民主。現在,香港的行 政長官由一個包括1200名成員的委員會選舉產生,其中的大多數都忠於內地政府;香港立法會的一半成員由公眾選舉產生,而另一半則由商業領袖及其他團體挑 選,他們也傾向於遵循內地政府的意願。
很多人指責梁振英虛偽,因為他在選舉中勝出的部分原因是,抨擊對手唐英年(Henry Tang)在未經批准的情況下,在妻子的別墅下方修建了一座巨大的地下室。該工程也是在沒有政府規劃部門允許的情況下進行的,這種許可通常很難獲得,而且 也沒有向香港政府支付大筆費用。香港政府幾乎擁有香港的所有土地,並會對批租的土地收取巨額的租金,金額主要根據開發項目的建築面積確定。
很多香港市民指責,越來越多來自中國內地的移民和遊客,使房價漲到了無法承受的水平,讓當地的學校擁擠不堪,也讓年輕人更難找到工作。梁振英在上台 後的頭半年裡,針對這些問題採取了一些措施,他去年秋季對非香港常住居民的短期房地產投資徵收了高額稅收。他還禁止香港醫院安排任何中國內地孕婦來港產 子,這項規定已於新年的第一天生效。
鑒於梁振英仍然擁有內地政府的支持,他非常有可能繼續擔任香港行政長官。三周前,立法會發起不信任動議,由公眾選舉產生的立法會議員中,大部分都對 梁振英表示反對,而代表商業領袖及其他社會群體的議員中,大部分對他表示支持。只有得到兩個群體中大多數議員的投票,該不信任動議才能得到通過。
只表明自己是上班族的年輕女士史蒂文妮·陳(Steveny Chan)拿着一面大約3×2英尺(約0.9×0.6米)的香港殖民時期的旗幟說,她並非支持香港重新回到英國的統治之下。她說,她展示這面旗幟是把它當 作懷舊的象徵,那時的香港經濟似乎為年輕人提供了更多的機會,而且在香港回歸中國之前,英國也向港人賦予了越來越大的自治權。