Former Hong Kong chief executive Leung Chun-ying has said that he thinks that the US lawmakers who voted for legislation supporting Hong Kong protesters were incorrectly informed about the city.

Leung, now a vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, was speaking at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club on Thursday, as he delivered a speech entitled “China: Seventy Years and My Vision for the Future.” Last year, Leung repeatedly criticised the club after it invited pro-independence activist Andy Chan to give a luncheon speech, as Leung claimed they were giving “terrorists” a platform. The work visa of the journalist who headed the talk was cancelled and he was barred from the city.

During the speech on Thursday, Leung talked about his Chinese roots, his experience as a surveyor in helping the Chinese economy grow, and his views on Hong Kong’s political future.

Leung Chun-ying
Leung Chun-ying. Photo: FCC screenshot.

US President Donald Trump signed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act supporting the city’s pro-democracy protesters on Thursday morning, after it was passed by both the House and the Senate. It came after five months of major protests in Hong Kong seeking democracy and police accountability.

In response, Leung said: “I don’t think the congressmen who voted for this act were fully informed, or correctly informed.”

He criticised a speech by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who said Hong Kong should have been given “full autonomy” and China denied it.

“I don’t think whoever initiated this, be they American or Hong Kong people, ever had the interest of Hong Kong in mind. It’s a proxy thing. I don’t think they have Hong Kong’s freedoms, Hong Kong’s democracy and Hong Kong’s human rights in mind. It’s all about China,” Leung said.

China promised a “high degree of autonomy” for Hong Kong as part of the city’s 1997 Handover from Britain.

anson chan nancy pelosi
A delegation led by Anson Chan meets with Nancy Pelosi in March 2019. Photo: handout.

Leung said he hoped people would have a full and honest understanding of the city’s Basic Law.

Commenting on the pro-Beijing camp’s defeat at the District Council election, Leung said the camp still obtained more than 40 per cent of the votes, meaning it did better than in 2016 Legislative Council election.

He said the District Council election has become highly political and the result did not surprise him.

“Let’s not exaggerate… the gain of democrats in this election,” he said. “We now know the results, but we don’t know the consequences.”

“I just hope the democrats and the radical elements in the democratic camp have not bitten off more than they can chew,” he added.

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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.