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曾荫权拟打造千万人口超级香港

  曾荫权(Donald Tsang)将永远选择沙田。

  在中国政治中,香港特首是最困难的工作之一。一方面要向远在北京的中国共产党领导汇报,同时还要安抚言论自由的选民,他们中有坚定的民主维权人士、不易对付的环保人士,以及权势显赫的大亨。

在这种情况下,面面俱到是不可能的——而且会使曾荫权怀念旧日简单岁月中更为简单的任务。

  1982年,当邓小平和玛格利特·撒切尔(MargaretThatcher)开始研究中国恢复对香港行使主权的条款时,曾荫权还只是个38岁的地区官员,负责建造将成为香港规模最大的“新城镇”之一的沙田。

  “沙田”这个名字结合了“沙”和“田”两个汉字,当曾荫权着手改造它的时候,这里是一片乡村景象。当他完成这项改造时,这里很快成为香港北部新界(NewTerritories)最大的人口中心之一。目前,在香港700万人口中,逾半数居住于新界。

  曾荫权日前接受英国《金融时报》采访时表示:“它太棒了。那是我公职生涯中最出色的工作……那个时候,我周围没那么多环保人士。”

  “那时,我们推山填海,建造自己的新城镇。”

  曾荫权不能再用从前的方式推山填海了。他设想中的香港是一个拥有1000万人口的超级大都市,他昨日辩称,香港要作为一个全球金融中心存在下去,这一规模是必要的。

  但在建设它的时候,这位特首必须应对一些压力,因为这种扩张将给香港的环境和文化传统带来压力。

  在中国政府恢复对香港行使主权的10年后,香港空气污染明显加剧,而最近的港口改造项目使标志性的天星小轮和皇后码头消失,激怒了新一代的活跃人士。在曾荫权竞选最后一个五年任期时,他承认保护环境和文化传统的重要性,但批评人士认为他仍未在这两方面采取果断行动。橡皮图章式的选举委员会在3月份批准曾荫权连任。

  “我们存在污染问题。这对每个城市都是个挑战,”他表示,“在这个问题上,我正竭尽全力,但必须承认,我们的邻居(广东省)正在发展……当我2012年离任时,空气质量将比现在好很多。”

  在香港,曾荫权必须应付的与环境和传统有关的游说日益增多,这突显出一个更为艰难的困境:如何在民众对于普选权的普遍要求,以及北京青睐的“循序渐进”方式之间找到平衡。

  曾荫权表示:“我们必须解决(普选权问题)。我不希望在2012年的时候把这个问题留给我的继任。”

  香港的小宪法——即所谓“基本法”(BasicLaw)——规定了最终实现普选的目标,但对于如何实现以及何时实现,仍然存在争议。香港的民主派阵营在立法选举的直接投票中获得60%的选票,该阵营想要立即实现民主。但北京方面拒绝支持“循序渐进”之外的任何选择,同时将不愿支持任何可能使民主派候选人接替曾荫权的选举体系。

  曾荫权表示:“我的工作的确很难做。在香港,我必须在所谓的民主派和所谓的保守派之间周旋。”

  “我必须提出他们都能同意的一整套(政治改革)方案……而且,同时要说服北京,这是对香港、对维持稳定和繁荣来说的最好方式,并且符合普选权的国际标准——这是《基本法》中的承诺。”

  这就是香港特首提到沙田的原因。

  他日前表示:“我们把一个乡村变成了一个现代化城市。”

  “这令我和整个社区都感到十分激动。我们在一起工作相处得很好。”

  Donald Tsang will always have Shatin.

  Hong Kongs chief executive has one of the most difficult jobsinChinese politics. While reporting to Chinese Communist partybossesin Beijing, he must also mollify a free-speakingconstituencypopulated with stubborn democracy activists,stroppyenvironmentalists and powerful tycoons. Under thecircumstances,trying to be all things to all camps is impossible –and can makeMr Tsang nostalgic for simpler tasks in simplertimes.

  In 1982, as Deng Xiaoping and Margaret Thatcher beganthrashingout the terms of Hong Kongs reversion to Chinesesovereignty, MrTsang was a 38-year-old district officer in chargeof building whatwould become one of the colonys biggest “newtowns”.

  Shatin, whose name combines the characters for “sand” and“field”,was a rural landscape when Mr Tsang set about transformingit. Whenhe had finished it was well on its way to becoming one ofthebiggest population centres in Hong Kongs northern NewTerritories,which are today home to more than half of theterritorys 7mpeople.

  “It was wonderful. That was my best job in public service . . .Idid not have any environmentalists in my hair in those days,”MrTsang said yesterday in an interview with the FinancialTimes.

  “We were pulling down mountains. We were reclaiming seas. Wewerebuilding our new town.”

  Mr Tsang cannot pull down mountains and reclaim the seas thewayhe used to. His vision for Hong Kong is of a megalopolis with10mpeople, a size that he argued yesterday was necessary fortheterritory to survive as a global financial centre.

  But in building it the chief executive will have to contendwiththe stresses such an expansion will put on both the environmentandthe territorys heritage.

  Air pollution has worsened dramatically in the 10 yearssinceChina resumed sovereignty over Hong Kong, while the recentloss ofthe landmark Star Ferry and Queens piers to a harbourreclamationproject enraged a new generation of activists. In hiscampaign fora final five-year term – duly granted by a rubber-stamp“electioncommittee” in March – Mr Tsang recognised the importanceof bothenvironmental protection and heritage preservation,althoughcritics contend he has yet to act decisively on eitherfront.

  “We have a pollution problem. Its a challenge in every city,”hesaid. “Im leaving no stone unturned in this but I mustrecognisethat we have a neighbour Guangdong province that isgrowing . . .The air quality will be a lot better by the time Ileave office in2012 than it is now.”

  The increasingly vocal environmental and heritage lobbies thatMrTsang must contend with in Hong Kong highlight an evenmoredifficult dilemma: how to balance popular demands foruniversalsuffrage with Beijings preference for a “go slow”approach.

  “We have to get over the universal suffrage issue. I dont wishtohand this problem to my predecessor in 2012,” Mr Tsang said.

  While Hong Kongs mini-constitution, known as the “BasicLaw”,endorses the ultimate aim of universal suffrage, how and whentoachieve it remain contentious. The territorys pro- democracycamp,which routinely captures 60 per cent of the popular voteinlegislative elections, wants democracy yesterday. ButBeijingrefuses to countenance anything other than a “gradual andorderly”transition and will be reluctant to endorse any electoralsystemthat could allow a pro-democracy candidate to succeed MrTsang.

  “I do have a difficult job. In Hong Kong I have tomanoeuvrebetween the so-called democrats and the so-calledconservatives,”Mr Tsang said.

  “I have to come up with a political reform package to whichtheyall agree . . . and at the same time persuade Beijing this isthebest thing for Hong Kong, for sustaining stability andprosperity,and meet the international criteria of universalsuffrage which ispromised in the Basic Law.”

  It is all the more reason for Hong Kongs chief executive topinefor Shatin.

  “We were turning a village into a modern city,” hesaidyesterday.

  “It was very exciting for me and the community. We workedveryhappily with them.” (实习编辑:顾萍)

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