China’s top political advisory body may name incumbent Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying as a member as soon as March, before he steps down as leader of Hong Kong in July.

Traditionally, chief executives have been appointed as vice chairs of the standing committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) only after leaving office. Leung could be the first politician to hold both roles at the same time.

Leung Chun-ying
Leung Chun-ying. File photo: HKFP/Catherine Lai.

Chan Wing-kee, a member of the standing committee of the CPPCC, told reporters on Sunday that the committee will discuss the admission of four new members, one of which is Leung. It will vote on the admissions in March.

“Perhaps he will first be nominated as a member of the CPPCC,” said Chan. “In the future, perhaps he can take another step upwards, and do more for the country and for Hong Kong on the central government-level.”

The CPPCC and the National People’s Congress – China’s top legislative body – are both set to meet in Beijing next month during the annual “two meetings.”

Chan said he did not know whether Leung is proposed to become a member of the 2,000-member CPPCC, or a member of its 20-member standing committee.

Chan Wing-kee
Chan Wing-kee.

Pro-establishment figure Tam Yiu-chung, also a CPPCC member, told reporters he did not feel that Leung’s two roles would conflict.

“I don’t think there’s much of a problem,” he said. “If there are more people and more opportunities to participate in the country’s affairs, and they can express their opinions in a leadership capacity, then that’s a good thing for Hong Kong.”

Elson Tong

Elson Tong

Elson Tong is a graduate of international relations and former investigations consultant. He has also written for Stand News.