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Tuesday, November 8, 2016, 01:55

Liaison office: Interpretation will restore stability to HK

By Luis Liu

The central government’s liaison office in Hong Kong said the interpretation by the nation’s top legislature of the Basic Law will help address local lawmakers’ oath-taking controversy, curb separatist influences in the city and safeguard national security for successful implementation of the “One Country, Two Systems” principle.

Barring separatists from entering the Legislative Council in accordance with the law is an inevitable requirement for safeguarding the rule of law and implementing the “One Country, Two Systems” policy in Hong Kong. The responsibility falls jointly on the central government, as well as the SAR’s administrative, legislative and judicial bodies, a spokesperson for the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong SAR said on Nov 7.

The spokesperson said that the interpretation, issued by the top legislature following unruly behavior by a handful of legislators-elect during the LegCo election and the subsequent swearing-in ceremony, clarifies the implications and requirements of the oaths taken by legislators-elect.

The spokesperson affirmed the importance of the NPCSC’s interpretation , saying it will plug loopholes on relevant matters in Hong Kong’s legal system.

A few lawmakers-elect including Sixtus Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching deliberately violated the swearing-in procedure and content requirements of the oath on Oct 12 . Their offensive words and deeds insulted the nation and the Chinese people. Their conduct, including separatist advocacy, seriously undermined the rule of law and dealt a heavy blow to “One Country, Two Systems”, the spokesman said.

The spokesperson hoped everyone in Hong Kong could be united to respect the Basic Law, safeguard its authority, protect the stability and prosperity of the SAR, and be aware of the consequences of “Hong Kong independence”.

The NPCSC interpretation is part of the constitutional framework of the SAR. It in no way conflicts with judicial independence in the city

Spokesperson for the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong SAR

The spokesperson noted that the NPCSC interpretation is part of the constitutional framework of the SAR. It in no way conflicts with judicial independence in the city. The power is vested in NPCSC to issue interpretations and explain provisions of the Basic Law — a power that should not be denied under the excuse of “judicial independence”.

A spokesperson with the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council on Monday issued a statement hailing the adoption of the NPCSC interpretation as “absolutely necessary and timely”.

The interpretation demonstrates the central government’s strong determination to oppose “Hong Kong independence”. “Activities that advocate a splitting of the nation or ‘Hong Kong independence’ shall in no way be allowed,” the spokesperson stressed.

The NPCSC interpretation is legally binding like the Basic Law itself, and provisions of the interpretation and the Basic Law must be faithfully implemented, the spokesperson said.

The central government is confident Hong Kong will uphold the “One Country, Two Systems” principle and the Basic Law in a comprehensive and accurate manner, safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests, and maintain long-term prosperity and stability of the SAR, the statement said.

Xinhua contributed to this story.

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