Any army deployment will not harm two systems principle, says Leung

Top News | Sophie Hui 19 Aug 2019

A deployment of the People's Liberation Army to Hong Kong would not end the one country, two systems principle, according to former secretary for justice Elsie Leung Oi-sie.

Leung said the SAR's high degree of autonomy was taken into consideration when the Basic Law was drafted, adding the government will only ask the army to help when it deems it necessary.

Although some actions by protesters approach the level of subversion, they are not trying to overthrow the Hong Kong or central governments, Leung said on radio yesterday.

She believes the National People's Congress will not declare a state of emergency for Hong Kong unless there is a "civil war."

Leung said the current clashes during protests are more of a public order problem, rather than those of national security.

"Some people did a lot of things like desecrating the national flag and national emblem, challenged the sovereignty of central government but they would not truly affect the safety of Hong Kong," she said.

The main responsibility of the PLA's Hong Kong Garrison is the defense of the city, though the SAR may ask it for assistance in maintaining public order if necessary.

Such a request will need approval from the central government, she said.

The garrison also has to follow the Garrison Law and the law in Hong Kong when its soldiers perform their duties within the city, she added.

Videos showing a Shenzhen armed police drill in which police shouted "stop violence" in Cantonese emerged on Saturday.

Leung said the Shenzhen armed police releasing the video of the drill did not mean to threaten people in Hong Kong. Nor does she believe it is related to the protests.

She believed those videos were in response to media inquiries. The drills may also be a preparation for the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the People's Republic of China, as the armed police have to maintain order in different places to ensure celebration activities proceed smoothly.

Leung said there are lots of problems in society including the youths' upward mobility and housing issues, but she hoped people understand such problems can only be handled after order is resumed.

She said many mistakenly believed that the anti-fugitive movement "is a masterpiece" in a fight for Hong Kong's freedom.

Leung said she hoped Hongkongers would wake up and oppose violence and save the city.

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