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Friday, July 1, 2016, 10:54

Official: Govt won't swerve on HK

By Shadow Li in Hong Kong

The director of the State Council's Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office, Wang Guangya, said the central government will maintain the "One Country, Two Systems" principle unswervingly and will do nothing to jeopardize it.

Wang made the remarks during a recent interview with Bauhinia Magazine, which is published monthly in Hong Kong.

The central government has shown great patience and maximum constraint in dealing with issues in Hong Kong, Wang said, citing, for example, the cautious approach the "Occupy Central" movement in 2014. Demonstrators broke the law and undermined social order, he said, adding that the central government remained patient until the misguided protests over election issues eventually broke down.

Wang also cited the example of electoral reforms last year that were not passed because of the opposition from the "pan-democratic" camp.

The end result is that Hong Kong's political system - procedures for electing the chief executive and lawmakers - will remain unchanged at least until 2022.

Wang said the central government, which focuses on the big picture and long run, will not be distracted by temporary chaos or discord. Rather, it will go on to implement the "One Country, Two Systems" principle faithfully.

Wang, who is in charge of the office that oversees political, economic and cultural bonds between the mainland and the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions, warned that Hong Kong's rule of law, one of the city's many advantages, might be compromised if the society as a whole doesn't stay vigilant and object, as it should, to obvious lawbreaking behavior.

He said the rule of law, Hong Kong's core value, has been shaken by the inclination of some to politicize everything in society. The riot at Mong Kok during this year's Chinese New Year is another extreme examples, he said, adding that if lawbreakers remain unpunished, the rule of law will be seriously undermined.

Wang also expressed hope that the "pan-democratic" camp in Hong Kong will be a constructive force in the city.

It is normal to have people with different political opinions, he said, and the "pan-democratic" parties show that Hong Kong is a society with diversity.

This will continue to exist within the "One Country, Two Systems" framework, he said. How to properly handle the relationship with the central government is an issue that all political parties in Hong Kong need to consider, especially the "pan-democratic" camp, Wang said.

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