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Saturday, April 29, 2017, 01:18

HK residents urged to consider full scope of Basic Law

By Willa Wu and Shadow Li
HK residents urged to consider full scope of Basic Law
Wang Zhenmin, director of the Legal Affairs Department of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, speaks at a luncheon hosted by Bauhinia Magazine on April 28. (Parker Zheng / China Daily )

HONG KONG - Hong Kong can better integrate with the country if people in the city have an accurate and comprehensive understanding of the country and its system, legal expert and liaison official Wang Zhenmin said on Friday.

Speaking at a luncheon hosted by Bauhinia Magazine, Wang, director of the Legal Affairs Department of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, said the Basic Law could not stand alone. It would never go beyond the country’s Constitution – the nation’s supreme law.

He urged residents in Hong Kong to have a full picture of the Basic Law, as it not only embodies the city’s core values such as human rights, freedom and rule of law, but also enshrines those written in the country’s Constitution including sovereignty and national security.

Hours before the luncheon, Rao Geping, a Peking University law professor, clarified these issues. Rao said it was inaccurate and one-sided to focus only on “Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong” and a “high degree of autonomy”, while ignoring the prerequisite of “One Country, Two Systems”.

Attending a legal forum on the Basic Law held by the same magazine, Rao, who also serves in the HKSAR Basic Law Committee under the country’s top legislature – the National People’s Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC), stressed that the central government governed Hong Kong with three principles – “One Country, Two Systems”, “Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong” with a “high degree of autonomy”.

He went on to elaborate that the two systems came with the premise of “One Country”, adding that “One Country” guaranteed the implementation of two systems.

The academic also noted that the “high degree of autonomy” is authorized by the central government through the Basic Law.

During an opening ceremony of a series of events to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to the motherland in Beijing, former deputy director of the State Council’s Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office Chen Zuoer echoed Rao.

Chen said successful implementation of the “One Country, Two Systems” in the past two decades was recognized universally. He added that the framework is the best way to allow Hong Kong’s return to the nation peacefully and the most effective arrangement to maintain Hong Kong’s long-term prosperity after the handover.

Chen said the central government has full sovereignty and jurisdiction over Hong Kong through the nation’s Constitution and Hong Kong’s Basic Law. That not only safeguards the sovereignty, national security and development interests of China, but also provides a solid assurance for the SAR to prosper and remain stable.

willa@chinadailyhk.com

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