Sunday, October 19, 2014

C.L. Lim: "The NPCSC cannot say that the Basic Law is a cucumber from Mars."

Hong Kong's Basic Law and Political Reform
17 October 2014
Lim Chin Leng
Some senior Hong Kong figures have spoken about unfulfilled treaty promises made between Britain and China. Yet the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984 says nothing about choosing Hong Kong's Chief Executive by the votes of five million people. The document which matters here is Hong Kong's Basic Law.
     Prior to the handover in 1997, the colonial government expended considerable effort in democratising Hong Kong's Legislative Council or "LegCo". This process, that commenced in earnest in 1984 in the form of a Green Paper, and subsequently in a White Paper, nonetheless had to await the outcome of discussions between 23 representatives of Hong Kong and 36 representatives from Beijing on the enactment of a Basic Law.
     No colonial-led reform in the run-up to the handover which did not converge with the Basic Law, in which Britain had no hand in the making, would have been practicable as the Basic Law would apply after the handover.  Click here to read the full article.

5 comments:

  1. Why don't you also discuss:-

    (1) Art 22 Basic Law: No department of the Central People's Government... may interfere in the affairs which HKSAR administers on its own in accordance with this Law";

    (2) whether NPCSC interpretation dated 31 Aug attempts to amend the Basic Law instead of going through the formal procedures under the basic law;

    (3) do you know/think it was the British side or Chinese side who urged for universal suffrage or promoted democracy when they started to discuss Sino-British Joint Declaration;

    (4) whether NPCSC interpretation dated 31 Aug 2014 contradicts its interpretation in 2004 re 5 steps for amending method of electing CE?

    (5) whether NPCSC interpretation is not consistent what Lu Ping said in 1993 as quoted in People's Daily and confirmed by the foreign ministry on 28 Feb 1994;

    (6) NPCSC interpretation on 31 Aug is consistent with Paragraph 7 of Annex I to the Basic Law - "If there is a need to amend the method for selecting CE for the terms subsequent to the year 2007, such amendments must be made with the endorsement of a two-thirds majority of all the members of the Legco and the consent of the CE, and they shall be reported to the NPCSC for approval."

    In short, does NPCSC respect the rule of law in HK or are they trying to act without being subject to the HK legal framework?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for raising these thought-provoking points. I have been trying to find an official record of Lu Ping's remarks raised in your point 5. Similarly, I cannot locate an official reference for Zhao Ziyang's remarks supporting a democratic Hong Kong. If you can point me in the right direction, it would be greatly appreciated.

      Delete
  2. Thank you for raising these thought-provoking points. I have been trying to find an official record of Lu Ping's remarks raised in your point 5. Similarly, I cannot locate an official reference for Zhao Ziyang's remarks supporting a democratic Hong Kong. If you can point me in the right direction, it would be greatly appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
  3. According to internet sources, Lu Ping published the article on 18 March 1993 in the People's Daily (overseas/international edition). Below is quoted from his article in Chinese: "第三屆以後立法機關如何組成,將來完全由香港自行決定,只要有三分二立法會議員通過,行政長官同意,報全國人大常委會備案就可以,不必要中央同意。將來香港如何發展民主,完全是香港自治權範圍內的事,中央政府不會干涉"

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for the interesting article...

    Given Lu Ping remark was made in 1993 while the Basic Law was already adopted in 1990, the chances of Lu Ping saying something that is not in line with Basic Law is quite low.

    With my limited knowledge on this matter, I think Lu Ping remark might be used in the wrong context to support and mislead people to believe that they have indeed been promised. Indeed he said people will have universal suffrage and China will not interfere, but could he be referring to LegCo instead of the CE? Just take a look at Annex I and Annex II of the Basic Law:

    Annex I (On CE and notice the last 2 words "FOR APPROVAL")
    *7. If there is a need to amend the method for selecting the Chief
    Executives for the terms subsequent to the year 2007, such amendments
    must be made with the endorsement of a two-thirds majority of all the
    members of the Legislative Council and the consent of the Chief
    Executive, and they shall be reported to the Standing Committee of the
    National People’s Congress for approval.

    Annex II (on LegCo and notice it mention "FOR THE RECORD")
    *III. Method for the formation of the Legislative Council and its
    voting procedures subsequent to the year 2007
    With regard to the method for forming the Legislative Council of the
    Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and its procedures for voting
    on bills and motions after 2007, if there is a need to amend the provisions
    of this Annex, such amendments must be made with the endorsement of
    a two-thirds majority of all the members of the Council and the consent
    of the Chief Executive, and they shall be reported to the Standing
    Committee of the National People’s Congress for the record.

    ReplyDelete

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