Source: China State Council Information Office
A spokesperson of the Commissioner’s Office of Chinese Foreign Ministry in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) on Wednesday firmly refuted and strongly condemned allegations by some Western politicians concerning the decision by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) on the qualifications of members of the Legislative Council (LegCo) of the HKSAR.
The Decision, said the spokesperson, is a reasonable, legitimate and necessary to safeguard the enduring success of “one country, two systems”, and no external force shall interfere.
The spokesperson said that it is a universal principle of political ethics that holders of public office, legislators vested with legislative power in particular, shall uphold constitutional laws and pledge allegiance to their home countries. It is an international common practice to require an oath of allegiance, set out the qualifications of legislators and ensure their national identity and political loyalty through legislation. No country will ever allow holders of public office, legislators included, to breach their oath and betray their countries. And it is a basic norm in any society governed by the rule of law that lawbreakers shall be held accountable.
The spokesperson pointed out the principle that Hong Kong shall be governed by Hong Kong people with patriots as the mainstay is an integral part of “one country, two systems” from the very beginning. Loving both the country and Hong Kong is a basic requirement of the Constitution and the basic law, and an ethical principle every public office holder in the HKSAR shall adhere to.
A handful of LegCo members, however, have unscrupulously disrupted LegCo and obstructed normal operation of Hong Kong’s political system and government function, in defiance of their oath of allegiance, rules and law. Moreover, they have even refused to acknowledge China’s exercise of sovereignty over the HKSAR and Hong Kong’s constitutional status as a local special administrative region of China, lobbied foreign countries to impose sanctions on Hong Kong, and willingly acted as the pawns of foreign forces. The evidence is solid and undeniable that they have pit themselves against “one country, two systems” and the basic law. Therefore, it is only just and necessary to disqualify such LegCo members in accordance with the law.
The spokesperson said that it is right and proper and consistent with the Constitution that the NPC Standing Committee, as the permanent body of the highest organ of state power in China, deals with constitutional issues in the implementation of the basic law and the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the HKSAR. The legal effect and authority of its decisions are not to be challenged. The qualifications of LegCo members concern how the related decisions by the NPC Standing Committee, Article 104 of the basic law and the interpretation of it, and the national security law in Hong Kong shall be understood and implemented. Such issues cannot be resolved by the HKSAR government on its own, and shall be addressed at the constitutional level.
The Decision has clarified the legal consequences of breaches by LegCo members of their pledge to uphold the basic law and allegiance to the HKSAR, and has established the procedure for disqualification. It is vital for staying committed to and improving “one country, two systems”, for implementing the basic law and the national security law in Hong Kong, and for upholding the rule of law and the constitutional order in the HKSAR. The NPC Standing Committee’s exercise of its legal mandate in accordance with the law will in no way undermine the high degree of autonomy of the HKSAR.
The spokesperson said that the decision is another concrete step to steer “one country, two systems” along the right track with the aim of ensuring normal operation of the governing bodies and social stability. It is in the fundamental interests of all Chinese people, including our Hong Kong compatriots, and has broad popular support. Only those legislators who refuse to shoulder their significant responsibilities to uphold “one country, two systems” and serve the HKSAR and its people will be affected by the decision, while the legitimate rights and freedoms of Hong Kong residents remain intact.
The spokesperson pointed out that some Western politicians have distorted the truth by vilifying China’s just effort to clarify qualifications of LegCo members in accordance with the law. In total disregard of allegiance requirements for and provisions about qualifications of legislators at home and in other countries, and showing no care for Hong Kong people’s fundamental interests and will, they have openly applied double standards out of entrenched ideological bias, meddled with China’s internal affairs, and trampled international law and basic norms governing international relations, only to expose again their ulterior motive to embolden the anti-China troublemakers in Hong Kong to continue hijacking and burning Hong Kong with them and to sow more trouble in Hong Kong. But their plot is doomed to fail.
The spokesperson emphasized that Hong Kong is part of China, and no one is more earnest and determined than the Chinese government to fully and accurately implement “one country, two systems”, or more concerned about Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability and its people’s well-being. Hong Kong affairs are China’s internal affairs. Any interference in Hong Kong affairs will be firmly hit back by all Chinese people, including our Hong Kong compatriots, and any attempt to play Hong Kong as a card against China will reach a dead end.