International New York Time OCT. 29, 2014
HONG KONG — China’s top advisory body expelled a Hong Kong delegate on Wednesday for giving the wrong kind of advice: that the top official in the city should resign because of what the delegate called the poor way he has handled student-led protests.
The delegate, James Tien, was removed from the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the official China News Service reported. The body, a largely powerless but prestigious organ of the Chinese government, moved quickly to remove Mr. Tien, one of more than 2,000 delegates, after he said on Friday in a radio interview that Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying should resign.
In remarks to reporters in Hong Kong after the vote by the body’s standing committee, Mr. Tien said he accepted the decision and he was resigning his post as leader of the city’s pro-business Liberal Party.
“The fact that I called, or rather urged, Chief Executive C. Y. Leung to resign because Hong Kong was getting a bit ungovernable” violated the rules and was “incorrect,” he said.
Yu Zhengsheng, the head of the conference, said members of the body could offer criticism but it had to be constructive — a category that does not include calling for the chief executive of Hong Kong to resign — the pro-Beijing Ta Kung Pao newspaper in Hong Kong reported.
On Wednesday, Mr. Tien reiterated his call for Mr. Leung to resign, and said that when he first made the suggestion he was thinking not of his role as a delegate, but as a Hong Kong lawmaker and leader of his party.
Mr. Tien, 67, is the first prominent member of the pro-Beijing establishment in Hong Kong to call for Mr. Leung’s resignation. The former British colony, which has its own political system separate from the mainland’s, has been the scene of citywide protests that are now in their second month. The protests were prompted by a decision by China’s Parliament setting out stringent rules for Hong Kong elections for chief executive in 2017, which the demonstrators say guarantee that only candidates loyal to Beijing can appear on the ballot.
Mr. Leung has been widely criticized by protesters, both for his role in advising China’s Parliament when it was making its decision and for his handling of the demonstrations, which mushroomed in late September after the police used tear gas and pepper spray to disperse crowds.