Monday, August 6, 2018

Johannes Chan and Wing Kay Po on the Applicability of the Chinese Constitution in Hong Kong (SCMP)

"How China's constitution ensured that the Basic Law remains pre-eminent in Hong Kong"
Johannes Chan and Wing Kay Po
South China Morning Post
6 August 2018
In recent years, there seems to be a tendency for mainland Chinese officials to omit or avoid references to the Sino-British Joint Declaration in any discussion about “one country, two systems”, as if the Joint Declaration were non-existent or wholly irrelevant. It is an undeniable historical fact that for about 150 years between 1842 and 1997, Hong Kong was under British jurisdiction. The British government introduced to Hong Kong, among other things, the common law system and a free capitalist economy. By the end of the last century, Hong Kong enjoyed a legal, social, political and economic system and lifestyle that were quite different from that on the mainland.
     It was precisely because of this historical fact that the British and the Chinese governments entered into what turned out to be two years of negotiation on the future of Hong Kong in 1982, resulting in the signing of the Joint Declaration in 1984. Under the Joint Declaration, the British government relinquished any sovereignty claim over Hong Kong in 1997, in return for a promise from the Chinese government to preserve the previous systems and lifestyle in Hong Kong and not to apply the socialist system and policies of the mainland to Hong Kong after its resumption of sovereignty over Hong Kong... Click here to read the full article.

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