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|HKSARG responds to Anson Chan's remarks
In response to the remarks made by Mrs Anson Chan in the United States on February 10 (US time), a spokesman for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government made the following response today (February 11):
Since the return to the motherland, the HKSAR has been exercising a high degree of autonomy and "Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong" in strict accordance with the Basic Law. This demonstrates the full and successful implementation of the "one country, two systems" principle, which has been widely recognised by the international community.
Article 2 of the Basic Law stipulates that the National People's Congress authorises the HKSAR to exercise a high degree of autonomy and enjoy executive, legislative and independent judicial power, including that of final adjudication, in accordance with the provisions of the Basic Law.
The rule of law and judicial independence are the cornerstone of Hong Kong and the important elements of the success of the "one country, two systems" principle. The HKSAR Government has all along stand firm to guard and uphold the rule of law. The Department of Justice handles all criminal cases in accordance with the applicable law, relevant evidence and the Prosecution Code with no political consideration at all.
Statements arbitrarily made to undermine the rule of law and our well-recognised reputation in this regard is not conducive to Hong Kong's progress.
It is an important part of the constitutional and legal systems of the HKSAR for the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPCSC) to exercise its power conferred by the Constitution and the Basic Law to interpret provisions of the Basic Law. The NPCSC Interpretation in 2016 clearly explains the meaning of Article 104 of the Basic Law and the consequences of contravening the provision. The Interpretation also explains clearly the requirements for oath-taking by specified public officers.
On electoral matters, Article 26 of the Basic Law stipulates that permanent residents of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall have the right to vote and the right to stand for election in accordance with law. The HKSAR Government all along respects and safeguards the rights enjoyed by Hong Kong residents according to law, including the aforesaid rights to vote and to stand for election. At the same time, the HKSAR Government has a duty to implement and uphold the Basic Law and to ensure that all elections will be conducted in accordance with the Basic Law and relevant electoral laws.
The constitutional and legal status of the HKSAR has been clearly stipulated in the Basic Law. Article 1 of the Basic Law states that the HKSAR is an inalienable part of the People's Republic of China (PRC). Article 12 of the Basic Law states that the HKSAR shall be a local administrative region of the PRC, which shall enjoy a high degree of autonomy and come directly under the Central People's Government. Moreover, Article 159 (4) of the Basic Law states that no amendment to the Basic Law shall contravene the established basic policies of the PRC regarding Hong Kong, i.e. Hong Kong should be a special administrative region of the PRC under the "one country, two systems" principle.
Advocating "independence of the HKSAR" or "democratic self-determination", or implementing a referendum and proposing "independence of the HKSAR" as an option in the referendum for issues relating to Hong Kong's political system are inconsistent with the constitutional and legal status of the HKSAR as stipulated in the Basic Law, as well as the established basic policies of the PRC regarding Hong Kong.
Decisions of the Returning Officers are made in accordance with the law and are aimed to ensure that elections are held in strict accordance with the Basic Law and other applicable laws in an open, honest and fair manner. There is no question of any political censorship or restriction of the right to stand for elections as alleged by Mrs Chan.
Ends/Sunday, February 11, 2018
Issued at HKT 21:29