|LCQ21: Guard against interfering in Hong Kong's internal affairs by foreign forces
Following is a question by the Hon Chan Hak-kan and a written reply by the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Patrick Nip, in the Legislative Council today (July 5):
Last month, three persons attended the launch event of the "Taiwan Congressional Hong Kong Caucus" (the Caucus) reportedly in the capacity of Members of the Legislative Council and signed a cooperation document with the Caucus. It has been reported that the Caucus shows a strong tendency towards "Taiwan Independence" and its members have even advocated propositions such as convening, with reference to the United States congressional hearings, public hearings to receive views from various parties on Hong Kong affairs, as well as promoting amendment of the Act Governing Relations with Hong Kong and Macau by Taiwan's Legislative Yuan to grant political asylum to people from Hong Kong. There are views that the Caucus is preparing to substantively intervene and interfere in Hong Kong's internal affairs, and the aforesaid Legislative Council Members who have participated in its activities are colluding with Taiwan Independence forces to promote "Hong Kong Independence", which is an act of splitting the territory of the country and challenging the "one country, two systems" principle, and is thus in violation of the oath taken by them when assuming office that they would uphold the Basic Law and bear allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) whether it has studied if Members of this Council may, under the Basic Law and existing legislation, join any organisation outside Hong Kong in the capacity of Legislative Council Members and sign cooperation documents with such organisations; if they may, whether there is legislation in place to monitor or ensure that their words and deeds upon joining such organisations and signing cooperation documents with them will not violate the provisions of the Basic Law and other relevant legislation;
(2) whether it has received intelligence about pro-Taiwan independence organisations currently carrying out in Hong Kong activities, e.g. establishing connections with local political organisations and providing such organisations with financial or other forms of support; of the measures in place to allay public concern about pro-Taiwan independence organisations interfering in Hong Kong's internal affairs, challenging the "one country, two systems" principle and threatening unity of the country; and
(3) of the existing legislation and mechanisms in place to prohibit Taiwan Independence forces from interfering in Hong Kong's internal affairs; whether it has assessed if such legislation and mechanisms are effective in prohibiting any Hong Kong people (including Members of this Council) and local organisations from drawing in Taiwan Independence forces to interfere in Hong Kong's internal affairs?
Our consolidated reply to the Hon Chan's question, after consulting the relevant bureaux and departments, is as follows:
According to Article 66 of the Basic Law, the Legislative Council (LegCo) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) shall be the legislature of the Region. Article 73 of the Basic Law specifies the powers and functions of the LegCo of the HKSAR, while Article 68 of the Basic Law states that the LegCo shall be constituted by election.
Meanwhile, it is prescribed in Article 104 of the Basic Law that when assuming office, members of the LegCo must, in accordance with law, swear to uphold the Basic Law of the HKSAR of the People's Republic of China (PRC) and swear allegiance to the HKSAR of the PRC. Article 79(7) of the Basic Law also stipulates that the President of the LegCo shall declare that a member of the Council is no longer qualified for the office when he or she is censured for misbehaviour or breach of oath by a vote of two-thirds of the members of the LegCo present.
The HKSAR Government has all along objected to any form of interference in the internal affairs of Hong Kong by other governments and political organisations. According to the relevant statutory provisions in Hong Kong, a political body in Hong Kong that has a connection with a foreign political organisation or a political organisation of Taiwan may be refused to register, cancelled its registration or even prohibited from operation.
We will not comment on the relevant work of law enforcement agencies (LEAs) or disclose relevant information. Any person in Hong Kong must abide by the laws of Hong Kong, and Hong Kong people must exercise their rights and freedoms in compliance with the laws of Hong Kong. If there is any illegal act, the LEAs will handle in accordance with law and seek legal advice as necessary.
Ends/Wednesday, July 5, 2017
Issued at HKT 15:00