International agreement

PUBLISHED : Friday, 07 March, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 07 March, 1997, 12:00am

Kam Lam in his letter headlined, 'Unfair 'trial' for the provisional legislature' (South China Morning Post, March 1), asked another reader, Paul Harris, to show that the provisional legislature is in defiance of the Basic Law. Mr Lam, could you kindly re-read article 68 of the Basic Law? Any legislature of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) must be 'elected' and not 'selected'.

Mr Lam then continued to attack another reader, Paul Serfaty, for doubting the parentage of the provisional legislature. Mr Lam seems to think that the provisional legislature only requires the blessing of the National People's Congress (NPC).

It is not that simple. The Joint Declaration clearly stated that any legislature of the Hong Kong SAR must be constituted by election.

Mr Lam, no decision of the NPC can change the Joint Declaration. The Joint Declaration is an international agreement which binds both China and Britain. The Chinese Government cannot break an agreement simply because it does not like it. If it can break one international agreement then what about other agreements? I question Mr Lam's understanding of the 'rule of law' given the selective nature of his arguments.

ANTHONY LEE Brisbane, Australia