Pro-Beijing lawmakers Ann Chiang Lai-wan and Holden Chow Ho-ding have expressed concern to visiting US congressmen over the recent incident involving a United Airlines passenger dragged off an overbooked flight.
The pair, of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, met with American senators and congressmen on Thursday morning for around 30 minutes at a closed-door meeting.
“We heard some members of the public were worried about overbooking, as they have tickets to the US [and wondered] if similar incidents would happen to them,” said Chiang.
“We hope when they go back to the US, they will review this carefully,” she added. “They responded that they will raise the issue in congress.”
Chiang also said the congressmen expressed concern over Hong Kong’s situation including developments in the city’s democracy and economy.
“In some sense, Hong Kong has more freedom than in the past – the democratic component is higher than before the handover,” she said. “Unfortunately, the last legislative term could not pass the political reform package.”
The package was formed under Beijing’s 2014 framework, which stated that it must vet chief executive candidates through a nomination committee it largely controls. It was rejected by all democrats.
“Hong Kong’s economy will be better and better with the mainland’s push,” Chiang added.
Asked if they have raised the issues surrounding North Korea and Syria, Chiang said the meeting was too short so they did not: “Mainly it was them asking questions.”
Meanwhile, lawmaker Elizabeth Quat, Chiang and Chow’s party colleague, also wrote to US Consul-General Kurt Tong and United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz to express her concerns.
“I have received many comments from people feeling outraged at the nature of the incident. Some even suggested that racial discrimination was involved. Such behaviour should not happen anywhere in the world,” she wrote.
The meeting came after lawmaker Charles Mok, who studied and worked in the US, cut up his United Airlines mileage card.
Posted by Charles Mok 莫乃光 on Tuesday, 11 April 2017
Civic Party lawmaker Jeremy Tam Man-ho, also a commercial airline pilot, made a video explaining the incident to his supporters saying he would make suggestions to authorities on compensating passengers asked to leave flights because of overbooking.