The legal chief at the central government’s Liaison Office in Hong Kong on
Friday said the city was not authorized to independently promote any political
Wang Zhenmin, director of the Legal Affairs Department at the
Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special
Administrative Region, was speaking at a forum on “One Country, Two Systems”
implementation over the past 20 years.
Wang said it was time to correct the “illusion” some people still had that, under its high degree of autonomy, Hong Kong could have its own political development independent of the country.
He said a small group had not acknowledged the reality that China had resumed permanent sovereignty over Hong Kong. Therefore, they wrongly believed Hong Kong could use its autonomy guaranteed by “Two Systems” to develop its own political system separate from the country’s, Wang said.
If people looked back at Hong Kong’s history, they could see that its politics had never developed independently, Wang stressed. In its years under British rule, the city’s political development also had to comply with decisions laid down by the British government, he said.
“Unlike federations where ‘all politics is local’, in unitary states ‘all politics is central’,” he stressed.
So it was perfectly normal that following Hong Kong’s reunification with the motherland, the city’s political development would be decided by Beijing, Wang said.
All the authorities which had ruled Hong Kong – including the United Kingdom, the People’s Republic of China and previous Chinese dynasties – were unitary states, he noted.
Wang urged everyone in Hong Kong to adhere to the bottom line of loving the country and safeguarding its sovereignty and security.
“In elections carried out overseas, whatever people’s political affiliations are they have one unquestionable consensus – loving the country,” Wang explained.
HKSAR Basic Law Committee member and law professor Rao Geping also attended the event. Rao agreed with Wang’s observations; he added that Hong Kong enjoyed a large degree of autonomy except on sovereignty issues.
He called for all journalism, history and social science courses in Hong Kong to include a study of the “One Country, Two Systems” principle.
Rao was also critical of some Hong Kong lawmakers who took part in an event organized by separatist organizations in Taiwan. He urged people to consider whether it was acceptable and legal for the city’s elected representatives to “spread separatist ideas” outside Hong Kong.
On Monday three Hong Kong lawmakers – Raymond Chan Chi-chuen, Nathan Law Kwun-chung and Eddie Chu Hoi-dick – visited Taiwan. They attended a press conference where 18 of the island’s pro-independence legislators pledged support for Hong Kong’s separatist elements. The legislators from Taiwan also want to foster closer ties with the city’s opposition lawmakers.