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Basic Law

The Basic Law was drafted as part of the Sino-British Joint Declaration covering Hong Kong after its handover to China on July 1, 1997. The joint declaration stated that Hong Kong would be governed under the principle of ‘one country-two systems’ and would continue to enjoy its capitalist system and individual freedoms for 50 years after the handover.


Right to suffrage framed by Basic Law

PUBLISHED : Friday, 03 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 03 May, 2013, 3:41am

In March, Qiao Xiaoyang, chairman of the Law Committee under the National People's Congress, said Hong Kong's chief executive ought to be a patriot.

His comments sparked a public debate on the definition of a patriot. Article 43 of the Basic Law stipulates that the chief executive is not only accountable to Hong Kong people but also to the central government. Do we expect our leader of the SAR to confront the central government or call for its overthrow while carrying out his duties?

Hongkongers would not benefit in any way from antagonising Beijing.

The central government has worked hard to support the development of the city.

Economic development is important to us, for instance, our retail industry has benefited from the influx of tourists from over the border, with more jobs being created.

What would happen if we had a chief executive who adopted policies that led to Hong Kong being isolated from the rest of the nation, resulting in an escalation of tension between Hong Kong and the leadership in Beijing? That would cause enormous harm to our economy and to our city's prosperity and stability.

During discussions on how the election for the chief executive will be organised in 2017, we must not ignore the interests of the central government, and we must bear in mind the spirit of "one country, two systems".

Some people argue that universal suffrage must fully comply with international standards, namely the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, but one must not forget that the application of the treaty must comply with the Basic Law.

It would be unconstitutional if we attempted to depart from the Basic Law, notwithstanding the full compliance with a so-called "international standard".

The United Nations Human Rights Committee regularly provides opinions to different governments on their local compliance to the rights treaty. However, these opinions are considered guidelines. They are not binding on the government, because each jurisdiction has its own unique circumstances. Any government must consider its local situation while implementing any policies or constitutional reforms.

There will be no universal suffrage for the 2017 election if the pan-democrats insist on rejecting the importance of the Basic Law and the spirit of "one country, two systems".

Holden Chow, chairman, Young Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong


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This article is now closed to comments

Lets be honest, love for country can be so vague and argumentive. Lets face it, we just do not love mainland's corruption and an UNJUST system. If the party's rules and regulations are ALL enforced, equally, fairly and without differences to everyone, men, women, child, oldies, party-members and non-party by-standers, I'm sure all will be fine.
anyone tried surveying how many couples can agree on their definition of "love"? If two married person often cannot agree, how do we expect a majority conesnsus on love for our country!
Universal suffrage in the city can comply with both the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Basic Law simply by allowing the pan-dems to field a moderate candidate of their own. Beiing always has the "panic button" available by refusing appointment and forcing new elections. This would comply with international standards since in theory the UK (a unitary state like China) can for example dissolve the government of the Caymen Islands anytime they want and force new elections too.

The Basic Law is actually more stringent since Beijing can not dismiss a Chief Executive openly after they have appointed him or her. They must let the CE finish their term or hope the CE decides to resign for "health reasons".
What a load...how would the application fo the nternational Covenant on Civil and Political Rights not comply with the basic Law? have you read it?
Universal sufferage could have occured as early as 2007. As a staunch supporter of the authortarian dictaatorship in Beijing, when the regime falls, don't expect to be very popular. In fact, it's people like you that fear deomocracy, because people who support curtailing press freedom and denying respresentation are not very popular and probably could not be elected if you were not gauranteed seats and handed out goodies with your power of office. A large number of people in Hong Kong despise people like you and your comments have no validity because they come from ant-democracy/pro communist party supporers liker yourself and your party memebers.Utter rubbish.


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