Former chief executive Tung Chee-hwa has invited the Hong Kong members of China’s political consultative body to the China Liaison Office to discuss the voting arrangements for the Chief Executive Election Committee, which is scheduled to take place in December.

Ahead of next year’s chief executive election, 38 sub-sectors representing various trades, professions and district organisations will be holding ordinary elections to form the 1200-member Election Committee. The Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), China’s patriotic united front organisation, is entitled to 51 seats on the committee.

Tung Chee-hwa visited the China Liaison Office on Tuesday.

Tung, vice-chairman of the CPPCC National Committee, was seen on Tuesday at the China Liaison Office, Beijing’s representative body in Hong Kong. He declined to comment on the purpose of his visit.

But Chan Yuen-han, one of the attendees and former lawmaker of the pro-Beijing Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions, said that it was a meeting with CPPCC members, and that Tung was the “main character” at the meeting.

Local media reported that about 150 politicians attended the meeting.

Another attendee, Chan Wing-kee, former chief executive officer of the now-defunct ATV, said that the meeting was about December’s vote on the Chief Executive Election Committee. He added that Tung did not ask participants to endorse any chief executive candidates.

Chan Wing-kee (left) and Chan Yuen-han (right) outside the Liaison Office on Tuesday.

Chan Wing-kee said that the 51 election committee members representing the CPPCC sub-sector will be chosen through consensus and an anonymous vote in December. Among the 190-plus CPPCC Hong Kong members, priority will be given to senior members as well as those who currently serve on the CPPCC Standing Committee or special committees, he added.

Those interested in running for the seats will register with the Friends of Hong Kong Association, according to Chan. Chan is the honorary life president of the association, while Tung is its patron.

Staff from the Liaison Office took part

Chan said that the meeting was also attended by the Liaison Office’s Deputy Director Yin Xiaojing and Coordination Department Director General Shen Chong, while Director Zhang Xiaoming was absent.

He added that meetings like this are “usual practices,” with Tung hosting a similar meeting in the lead up to the 2012 chief executive election.

Other attendees at Tuesday’s meeting included former chief secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen, Hong Kong Tourism Board Chairman Peter Lam Kin-ngok, and non-official member of the Executive Council Andrew Liao Cheung-sing.

Andrew Liao Cheung-sing (left) and Peter Lam Kin-ngok (right) visited the Liaison Office on Tuesday.

The Chief Executive Election Committee Subsector Ordinary Elections will be held on December 11. Besides the 51 seats designated for the CPPCC, Hong Kong’s deputies to the Chinese National People’s Congress are entitled to 36 seats. All 70 incoming lawmakers will also sit on the election committee.

Ellie Ng

Ellie Ng has written for Foreign Policy, the Daily Telegraph, Global Voices Online and others.