Cheng goes back to basics

Local | Wallis Wang 23 Nov 2020

Selective interpretation of the Basic Law caused misunderstandings on how "one country, two systems" should be construed, Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah said yesterday.

The Basic Law has two goals - to maintain the country's unification and territorial integrity, as well as maintain Hong Kong's stability and prosperity, Cheng wrote in her blog.

"Despite the fact that the Basic Law has been successfully implemented in Hong Kong over the years, there are still people who do not fully comprehend the Constitution and the Basic Law," Cheng said.

"Some mistakenly believe that the constitution does not apply in Hong Kong or even forget that 'one country' is the precondition of the 'one country, two systems' principle," she added.

"There are also people deliberately making statements about the Basic Law selectively, leading to misapprehensions."

Cheng also "fully agreed" with Basic Law Committee deputy Zhang Yong, who said last week: "China is a unitary state, meaning all powers come from the central authorities and the powers enjoyed by the SAR are authorized by the central authorities."

Cheng said Hong Kong has benefited a lot from the "one country, two systems" principle as a closer economic partnership with the mainland has provided the SAR with more business opportunities for the legal sector.

Chief Secretary for Administration Matthew Cheung Kin-chung expressed a similar sentiment, saying that Hong Kong's problems have arisen from an inaccurate understanding of one country, two systems.

"Hongkongers should be aware of the original intent of the Basic Law and ensure that the implementation of the 'one country, two systems' principle remains accurate," he wrote in his blog.

Cheung said some citizens have failed to clearly understand the Basic Law and the SAR's relationship with the mainland, leading to a misunderstanding of Hong Kong's political system.

He also said the government would keep educating the public and enhance awareness of the constitution, Basic Law and one country, two systems principle.

"As long as Hong Kong enjoys a secure and stable social environment, and citizens sincerely support the Basic Law and 'one country, two systems,' Hong Kong will be able to integrate into China's overall development plan and achieve a win-win situation with the mainland," Cheung said.

wallis wang

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