Beijing officials involved in Hong Kong affairs have stepped up their warnings against the election of an unpatriotic chief executive in 2017.
The new warnings were from Wang Guangya, director of the State Council's Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office, and central government liaison office deputy director Yin Xiaojing.
They came a day after Politburo Standing Committee member Yu Zhengsheng warned of subversive forces in Hong Kong and of the unimaginable consequences should a confrontational force emerge in the 2017 chief executive election.
Wang called on Hong Kong deputies - who are in the capital for the annual legislative session - to take precautions against the threat, adding that "a small number of people" have been causing trouble but their moves are doomed.
Yin said it is a matter of course that the chief executive to be elected in 2017 must be patriotic.
"It is a self-explanatory requirement that the chief executive must love the country and love Hong Kong," she said.
Asked if she thinks there are subversive forces in Hong Kong, Yin said: "There are only isolated cases."
Such moves will "go against the will of all people in Hong Kong," she added. "The pursuit of harmony and development are the mainstream views of the Hong Kong people."
National People's Congress deputy Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai said that in the past chief executives have been assumed to be pro-establishment figures. She believes this will not change.
Fan said Beijing has adopted a stern attitude against calls for independence.
But she denied claims that Yu's remarks meant Hong Kong will not enjoy universal suffrage in the 2017 election, adding that his remarks are aimed at reminding people that Hong Kong can prosper only if a patriotic person is elected as chief executive.
Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference member Tam Yiu-chung said Yu's remarks are aimed only at preventing any subversive exercise. Tam said CPPCC members should speak out against any evil trend in society.
National People's Congress deputy Bernard Charnwut Chan said: "I believe that Hong Kong people will not elect a chief executive who adopts a confrontational stance against the central government."
In a related development, Beijing dispelled fears that it is tightening its grip on Hong Kong, adding that the SAR's role in the development of the nation is irreplaceable.
Politburo Standing Committee member Zhang Dejiang made the comments at a meeting with NPC deputies from Hong Kong in Beijing yesterday.
After the meeting, Fan quoted Zhang as saying that Beijing will not tighten its control.
Zhang was also quoted as saying the relations between Hong Kong and the mainland will not be affected by recent rows. It is more important that these problems be resolved.