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Friday, August 5, 2016, 21:29

Basic Law articles on SAR's status can't be changed: Official

By Luis Liu in Hong Kong

The SAR government reiterated on Friday that Hong Kong’s status as an inalienable part of China cannot be changed under the Basic Law.

The statement was in response to remarks by Edward Chan King-sang, former chairman of the Hong Kong Bar Association, that certain articles in the Basic Law could be amended.

Speaking in a local radio program earlier, Chan said there’s no “clear description” as to which article in the city’s constitutional document can or cannot be amended. Thus, he said, people believe there might be a chance to persuade the central and SAR governments to change Article 1, which states that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is an inalienable part of the People’s Republic of China.

In rejecting Chan’s views, an SAR government spokesperson pointed out that, according to Article 159 of the Basic Law, no amendment to the law shall contravene the established basic policies of the People’s Republic of China regarding Hong Kong.

As the Basic Law was enacted by the National People’s Congress in accordance with the country’s Constitution, stipulating “One Country, Two Systems” and “Hong Kong people administrating Hong Kong with a high degree of autonomy” as the basic policies on Hong Kong affairs, no amendment is allowed with regard to national sovereignty over Hong Kong, the spokesperson said.

The Electoral Affairs Commission has, so far, disqualified six candidates from next month’s legislative elections for advocating “Hong Kong independence”.

The Registration and Electoral Office said on Friday 289 candidates have qualified for the Sept 4 polls, including 213 who will be jockeying for 35 seats in the five geographical constituencies.

In the functional constituencies, 55 candidates have been declared eligible to take part in the elections, excluding 21 candidates for the District Council (Second) functional constituency who will fight for five “super seats”.

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