Hong Kong politicians offer support to State Council’s white paper

By Cathy Wong Source:Global Times Published: 2014-6-12 0:38:02

The "one country, two systems" white paper released Tuesday has garnered support from the Hong Kong government and some legislators in Hong Kong and positive feedback from mainland scholars, even as some sections of Hong Kong legal professionals and the public have reacted against it.

The official document, published by the State Council Information Office, marks the first official declaration by the Chinese government over Hong Kong's election disputes.

President of the Hong Kong Legislative Council Jasper Tsang Yok-sing agreed the document has given a comprehensive explanation of the "one country, two systems" policy in Hong Kong, and believes it can set the tone for the city's political reform.

The Hong Kong Bar Association has heavily criticized the white paper in a press release. It criticized the white paper for undermining the independence of the judiciary in the eyes of people in Hong Kong and the international community. Judges and judicial officers will not carry out any political mission, the association stated.

The association also quoted a previous statement released in 2008 under the chairmanship of Rimsky Yuen, the current secretary of justice, stressing its point on independent judiciary.

Yuen on Wednesday said he disagrees with the association's statement, and believes his intentions have been misinterpreted, the Ming Pao Daily reported.

Zhang Dinghuai, deputy director of the Center for Basic Laws of Hong Kong and Macau Special Administrative Regions at Shenzhen University, said Hong Kong society has misunderstood the true meaning behind the basic law.

"What the white paper is proposing is not anything new," he told the Global Times, "It is intended to spell out the unspoken political meaning."

The National People's Congress Standing Committee has "interpreted" the Basic Law four times in the 17 years since 1997, overturning Hong Kong's Court of Final Appeal's verdict on four different cases.

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