Chinese Parliamentary Sessions 2013
March 2013 sees the annual meeting of the two legislative and consultative bodies of China, where major policies are decided and key government officials appointed. The National People's Congress (NPC) is held in the Great Hall of the People in China's capital, Beijing, and with 2,987 members, is the largest parliament in the world. It gathers alongside the People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) whose members represent various groups of society.
Reinterpreting Basic Law 'could solve issue of mainland mothers'
A mainland official said yesterday that reinterpreting the Basic Law was one possible way to resolve the problem of the influx of mainland women giving birth in Hong Kong.
Speaking at a press conference in Beijing yesterday, Fu Ying, the spokeswoman for the annual session of the National People's Congress, said it was aware that Hongkongers were very concerned about the issue and hoped to find solutions.
"Reinterpreting the Basic Law by the NPC Standing Committee is one of the ways [to resolve the problem]," Fu said.
She emphasised that it would not interfere with the independence of Hong Kong's judiciary.
Fu added that the central government had "unshakable determination" to continue upholding the "one country, two systems" principle. On Friday, the Court of Final Appeal ended a three-day hearing on a right-of-abode appeal launched by foreign domestic helpers.
The court reserved judgment as to whether to satisfy the government's request for the NPC Standing Committee to make a ruling on the Basic Law provisions on permanent residency.
Maria Tam Wai-chu, a member of the Basic Law Committee, said on Sunday that "reinterpreting the Basic Law would be the only way to solve the problem of [the influx of] mainland parents giving birth in Hong Kong".
Ma Fung-kwok, a Hong Kong deputy to the NPC, agreed that reinterpreting the Basic Law clause would be the ultimate solution to the problem of mainland parents giving birth in Hong Kong if there was no better alternative.
"We have yet to know what decision the Court of Final Appeal will make on the right-of-abode case" Ma said.
Michael Tien Puk-sun, another NPC deputy, said he hoped the top court would resolve the problem on its own by rectifying its previous ruling.
"I believe it's also what the central government wants," he said.
"Seeking another interpretation of the Basic Law by the [NPC] Standing Committee will stir up huge controversy."