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Interview: Basic Law should be "fully implemented and strictly observed:" Leung Chun-ying

(Xinhua)    09:19, April 06, 2020


File photo shows Leung Chun-ying speaking in an interview in Hong Kong, south China. (Xinhua/Wu Xiaochu)

HONG KONG, April 5 (Xinhua) -- The Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) was drafted on the basis of full consultation, reflecting the demands of various sectors in Hong Kong, and should be fully implemented and strictly observed, Leung Chun-ying, vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and former chief executive of the HKSAR, said in a recent interview with Xinhua.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the promulgation of the HKSAR Basic Law. Leung noted that by promulgating the Basic Law, the Chinese government sets out its basic principles and policies regarding Hong Kong in the form of law, demonstrating that the Chinese government not only attaches great importance to the relevant principles and policies, but also to the rule of law.

During the period between the Sino-British negotiations in early 1980s and China's resumption of the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong in 1997, about five years were spent on drafting the Basic Law.

The drafting process of the Basic Law was different from other legislations by the National People's Congress (NPC), as it was drafted by a committee composed of members from both Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland, Leung said, adding that nearly one-third of the committee members came from all walks of life in Hong Kong.

Besides, a Basic Law Consultative Committee (BLCC) consisting of 180 people from various sectors of the Hong Kong community was established in 1985 to canvass views in Hong Kong on the drafting of the Basic Law.

Leung, who was secretary-general of the BLCC, reiterated that the drafting of the Basic Law is a democratic, scientific, meticulous and rigorous process.

"The Basic Law drafted on the basis of full consultation not only has legal validity, but also fully reflects the demands of various sectors in Hong Kong for the political, economic, social and other systems after Hong Kong's return. Therefore, the achievement needs to be fully implemented and strictly observed," he said.

The HKSAR Basic Law is one of the few modern constitutional laws in the world, as well as the only constitutional law to implement "one country, two systems" before the Macao SAR Basic Law, Leung said. "Therefore, the need to interpret, publicize and promote the Basic Law is prominent, and the task is arduous."

"The achievement of our work on this regard so far still needs to be consolidated and expanded," he pointed out, adding that "on the other hand, we also need to refute any misinterpretation and misdirection of the Basic Law in a targeted manner."

Leung gave the example that some Western politicians have distorted the high degree of autonomy enjoyed by Hong Kong into "full autonomy," as well as some other misinterpretation and misdirection involving the selection of the HKSAR chief executive.

Article 45 of the Basic Law stipulates that the universal suffrage for selecting the chief executive is "upon nomination by a broadly representative nominating committee in accordance with democratic procedures" instead of "civil nomination," he said.

According to Annex I of the Basic Law, if there is a need to amend the method for selecting the chief executive, such amendments shall be reported to the Standing Committee of the NPC "for approval" instead of "for filing" as claimed by some people, he added.

"We should not allow these misinterpretations and fallacies to go on, and must sternly refute them," Leung said, stressing the need that through targeted debates the Hong Kong society can understand the contents of the Basic Law and the international community can grasp the specific arrangements of "one country, two systems."

In the implementation of "one country, two systems," "Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong" and a high degree of autonomy, it is perfectly justified and a need in reality that Hong Kong is administered by patriots, said Leung.

"Hong Kong is a part of our country, so it is a matter of course that those administering Hong Kong must love the country. Otherwise, the impact on Hong Kong's politics, society, economy and people's livelihood will be disastrous," he said, adding "only those who deliberately try to push 'one country, two systems' to the brink of failure will ignore this reality."

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