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Misunderstandings about mainland China among people in Hong Kong were partly to blame for the “radicals’ advocacy of localism” in the city, a veteran Beijing loyalist told the state leader overseeing

Hong Kong affairs on Friday.

Chan Wing-kee, a standing committee member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference – the nation’s top advisory body – was the first among six delegates speaking to the National People’s Congress chairman Zhang Dejiang in an annual closed-door gathering in the capital.

Zhang was expected to touch on the rise of localism in the city and the Mong Kok unrest in his keynote address, after the six delegates’ speeches.

READ MORE: ‘Engage youth’: Beijing’s message for Hong Kong as China’s political advisers begin annual meeting

Chan said a “minority of radicals” had been advocating localism and “making use of some incidents” to incite conflict in the relationship between the city and the mainland. He said the radicals’ efforts had “seriously hindered social stability” and that “the Mong Kok riot was a typical example”.

“After the political reform package was voted down last year, the opposition lawmakers stepped up their confrontations,” he continued. “Their filibustering seriously hampered the city’s governance and created a vicious cycle.”

Chan believed the city’s economic system and Western thinking had contributed to the problems.

“Hong Kong lacked new economic momentum in the 19 years since the handover,” he said. “The city’s economy is still founded on British colonial ways ... Some people also have a misunderstanding about the mainland because they were misled by Western schools of thoughts.”