HK opposition has no respect for Basic Law

Source:Global Times Published: 2016/11/5 0:08:40

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government told the media on Friday they have been informed by the central government that an interpretation to Hong Kong's Basic Law Article 104 has been included in the schedule of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee. It's said that the NPC itself brought up the subject of interpretation.

Following the news, the two Hong Kong legislators-elect who defied norms and openly touted "Hong Kong-independence" during their swearing-in and a few extreme opposition forces expressed their opposition, and some Western media joined their attack on the NPC decision. They claimed the NPC's  interpretation means the central government is taking direct control of Hong Kong and damaging its autonomy. Their response is anything but surprising.

It's widely known that the Article 158 of the Basic Law states that the NPC holds the right to interpret the law. Now that the Hong Kong society is split over how to interpret Article 104, which specifies Legislative Council members' swearing-in obligations, it is the responsibility of the NPC Standing Committee to interpret the article in order to maintain the stability of Hong Kong. It will help Hong Kong better understand the Basic Law and end the dispute. Hong Kong localists and radical opposition parties only represent one side of opinion; while the voices condemning the legislators-elect's actions are also very loud in Hong Kong.

The Basic Law is more than 20 years old, and it could not foresee what we face today. Laws must keep up with the times.

The behavior of tampering the oath and unfolding "Hong Kong-independence" banners clearly violate the Basic Law.

However, Article 104 has no specific reference on how to define such behavior and what punishment should it carry. There were a number of similar issues in the past when some people willfully violated the law and imperiled national security but claimed to have acted within the law, resulting in a great deal of dispute and confusion.

The legitimacy of Hong Kong's legal system originates from the authorization of the NPC, and it must operate under the principle of "One country, two systems." The stand of Hong Kong opposition forces shows that they don't intend to abide by the law at all or they only have partial understanding of the law.

The opposition forces' resistance against the central authorities is politically motivated and has nothing to do with the law itself.

It is time for the central authorities to uphold the bottom line of the Basic Law, re-establish the supremacy of law and resolutely respond to extreme political forces.

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