HK has not grasped supervisor role of Beijing offices

Local | 20 Apr 2020 2:02 pm

Beijing loyalist Tam Yiu-chung said on Monday that the liaison office and the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office have always had the power to supervise matters relating to the SAR, even if this is not stated in the Basic Law, and if the government itself doesn't quite understand it.

“Hong Kong’s high autonomy should be implemented in accordance with the Basic Law. There must be someone to supervise if there’s anything in violation of the Basic Law. The two offices are the representatives of the central government to do the supervisory work,” he said on an RTHK program.

Tam, who is Hong Kong's sole member of the National People's Congress Standing Committee, said the SAR government might not have grasped the Basic Law and the structure of the mainland authorities, but the two offices have now clarified the situation.

Other pro-Beijing figures also agreed that the SAR government seemed to lack understanding of the issue.

Executive councillor Ronny Tong said a series of contradictory statements issued by the SAR government on Saturday night suggests the administration is "confused" about the functions of the liaison office.

Another Exco member, Regina Ip, said the repeatedly revised statements on whether the liaison office has to comply with Article 22 of the Basic Law showed that the government itself doesn't know how to interpret the city's mini-constitution.

Meanwhile, pro-government lawmaker and barrister Priscilla Leung said the pro-democracy camp has forced the central government to make use of powers it has not needed to use in the past.

The Business and Professionals Alliance lawmaker said society should not focus on the purpose of Article 22, but should instead look at the actions of pro-democracy legislators.

She said their filibustering in Legco - which sparked the row over the powers of the liaison office - is intended to paralyse the legislature and this is why Beijing officials had to speak up on the matter.

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