An incoming lawmaker of the New People’s Party has admitted it was “awkward” that her party’s chair Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee visited the China Liaison Office after the election last week – China’s official organ in Hong Kong.

Eunice Yung Hoi-yan, a 39-year-old barrister who only joined the party in January this year, became a newcomer to the legislature with 36,183 votes. Last week, Yung admitted to media that her father was a former top management figure of China Resources, a state enterprise in Hong Kong.

Yung said that she did not visit the office after she was elected. But Ip, who denied visiting the office, backtracked on her statement four days later, and apologised for “misleading” reporters.

Regina Ip Eunice Yung
Eunice Yung (left) and Regina Ip (right). Photo: Facebook.

Ip said that the office told her that there were urgent matters to be discussed, and that she cannot disclose what was discussed, nor with whom.

Asked as to whether it was inappropriate for Ip to mislead the media, Yung said on a Commercial Radio programme on Tuesday: “It was difficult to say… I am not her.”

She was then asked by the hosts to comment on the incident as an observer.

“People would see some awkwardness in this, why she could not speak about [the visit] – but she has to respect the confidential agreement,” she said.

regina ip china liaison office
Regina Ip’s car seen by reporters entering the China Liaison Office. Photo: Facebook/Screenshot.

Yung said she did not know who Ip was meeting. She did not ask Ip further as she had already stated she would not say.

On whether she would visit the office, she said it would depend on the topic being discussed and the person she would be meeting.

Yung was asked whether she believed she would win the election, as she was allegedly supported by the Liaison Office who coordinated voting among supporters.

“I would have wanted it – if there was coordinated voting – then I wouldn’t have to be so tired [after campaigning], I lost 10 pounds,” she said.

Gary Fan (left) and Eunice Yung (right). ; Eunice Yung Facebook

Vote splitting

She also said that it was “inevitable” that one of two candidates with a similar political stance running in the same area would be losing votes, commenting on the race between former lawmakers Gary Fan Kwok-wai and Andrew Cheng Kar-foo.

Fan was one place behind Yung, losing the last seat in the New Territories East constituency to her. Yung received 36,183 votes, compared to Fan’s 31,595 votes. Cheng received 17,892.

“I can’t say if I won because both of them ran,” she said. “I hope it was our true abilities that made us win.”

She said she has been working hard with district councillors in the past year, in areas like Sha Tin, Tai Wai, Tseung Kwan O and the North District.

The China Liaison Office, Sheung Wan
The China Liaison Office, Sai Wan. Photo: HKFP.

‘National Security Bureau’ visit

On Monday, Yung said on a RTHK radio programme that she had visited the “National Security Bureau” (國安局) during the election, discussing the issue of visas for new immigrants to Hong Kong.

She was asked whether she discussed the election with the Liaison Office. She said it was not necessary to do so.

Then she disclosed the visit to the “bureau”: “Of course they would ask, how the campaign was recently – they would ask, they would care.”

She never discussed election strategies with the “bureau,” she added.

Yung later clarified that it was a mistake, and what she mentioned was actually a visit to the Ministry of Public Security (公安部) in mid-August.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.