Here’s what’s making news in the Chinese newspapers in Hong Kong on Tuesday.
Emily Lau elected as first Democratic Party chairwoman
The Democratic Party elected its new leadership yesterday. Emily Lau was chosen to lead the party, beating Vice-Chairman Sin Chung-kai by just 16 votes. Lau said that many party members hope that the Democratic Party will adopt a firmer stance on land rights, on relations with Beijing and on relations with Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying’s government, demonstrating peaceful, reasonable and non-violent competition. She also said that the party would consider using public opposition and that the party would not discuss conditions.
Rita Fan hopes new liaison office head will come into contact with local people
Yesterday, National People’s Congress Standing Committee member Rita Fan commented on the appointment of Zhang Xiaoming, the current Deputy Director of the State Council’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office to head Beijing’s liaison office in Hong Kong. Fan said that Zhang was familiar with Hong Kong and Macau affairs, but she hoped that he would come into contact with more Hong Kong people so as to avoid disagreements over Hong Kong affairs between the Special Administrative Region and Beijing. Legislator Jeffrey Lam of a pro-business LegCo group and Zhang Zhigang, Executive Director of the One Country, Two Systems Research Institute, said that they thought that Zhang Xiaoming was the appropriate choice for the position.
280,000 families are living in cramped housing
According to a survey by a citizen’s group that focuses on housing issues in Hong Kong, about 42 percent of the 30-year-old private housing in Hong Kong has been converted into cramped, subdivided housing. The survey says that 280,000 families are crowded into 67,000 units with an average area of 137 square feet each. The average rent of these subdivided flats is HK$2,985, or HK$27.14 per square foot. That is more expensive than the HK$22.2 per square foot that a tenant would pay to live in one of 85 different large housing projects in Hong Kong.