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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.

NewsHong Kong

Beijing to Britain: Stop interfering with Hong Kong's internal affairs

Central government joins CY and Carrie Lam in expressing 'staunch opposition' to minister's offer to help city in fight for universal suffrage

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 17 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 17 September, 2013, 3:16pm

Beijing fired a volley of rebuttals at a British minister yesterday, saying no foreign government or official should meddle in Hong Kong's affairs.

The central leadership slammed British foreign office minister Hugo Swire for his remarks - published in the South China Morning Post at the weekend - that it was important for local voters to have genuine choice on the road to democratisation.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs, its office in Hong Kong and English-language state newspaper Global Times all rounded on Swire on the one day, soundly rebuffing London's offer of support for a "smooth resolution" to the quest for universal suffrage.

Beijing's vigorous reaction added to the double dose of rebuffs delivered by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor over the weekend.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei expressed "strong displeasure" and "staunch opposition" during a regular media briefing in Beijing.

"The British foreign minister published an article in [Hong Kong] media, publicly making irresponsible remarks," Hong said. "The Chinese government is strongly displeased and staunchly opposed to it."

In the opinion piece published on Saturday, Swire, a minister of state at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, wrote that Britain "stands ready to support" its former colony as it "takes its commitment under the Sino-British Joint Declaration very seriously" in protecting the rights of Hongkongers.

Hong also pointed to colonial history to reject Swire's words. "Hong Kong had been under chronic colonial rule. After the handover, the Basic Law has sufficiently protected the basic rights and freedom of Hongkongers," he said. "We urge Britain to immediately stop any form of interference in Hong Kong's internal affairs."

Hong's words echoed an online statement issued by the ministry's Hong Kong office earlier yesterday.

"Regarding the question of Hong Kong's constitutional development, no foreign government or official should meddle in it or make presumptuous comments, not to mention interfere with [it]," the statement said. "We do not need any so-called 'support' from foreign countries.

"We hope the relevant country will be cautious about its speech regarding Hong Kong's constitutional development, and not damage the city's prosperity and stability."

The Global Times, a tabloid affiliated with the People's Daily, called London's act "unwise" in a front page article.

Kenneth Chan Ka-lok, an international relations scholar at Baptist University, said Beijing had "overreacted".

"According to international experience, the best Britain can do is to nudge," said Chan, also a Civic Party legislator. "A more common approach is to speak on the issue or to discuss the subject on international platforms."

Professor Albert Chen Hung-yee, a member of the Basic Law Committee under the National People's Congress Standing Committee, said London probably did not understand the Chinese government's way of thinking. "They might have talked about assistance out of goodwill, but the move backfired," he said.



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This article is now closed to comments

A state can’t behave like a loud-mouth brat
Anyone who wishes to indulge in brats’ gibbersih
should first read the JD and respond to the following comment
Copy of yesterday’s comment
pslhk Sep 16th 2013
Contrary to erroneous wistful thinking of unrealistic atavists
Sino British Joint Declaration provides no special UK-SAR relationship
It has never meant to give UK any special status in SAR
UK is singled out in two places which provide that
it “may establish mutually beneficial economic relations” [3(9)]
and “a Consulate-General” like OTHER COUNTRIES in SAR
subject to the principle that “foreign affairs are the responsibility of
Central People's Government” [Annex I(XI)]
The special mentions are only to assure
that UK won’t be excluded (despite its colonial past)
and that it enjoys no special treatment over or above other countries
Other than matters stipulated in JD [Annex I(XI)], the stated principle is that
foreign affairs are between PRC and foreign countries
and NOT sar and foreign countries
Joint Declaration specifies the setup of a Joint Liaison Group
“to ensure a smooth transfer of government in 1997”
“With a view to the effective implementation of Joint Declaration”
“Joint Liaison Group shall continue its work until
1 January 2000”
It was a horrible diplomatic blunder that Swire spoke directly to SAR public
awkwardly offering unasked for, unneeded and unwanted provocative “support
Is it your belief that Beijing isn't offering unasked for, unneeded and unwanted provocative “support"?
Should the world conform or object to bigots’ destructive prejudice?
Consider the logic
[A] “they see a chance to attack the Communists”
[B] “Communism doesn't really mean Communist”
[C] “being a Communist means being a member of the ruling class”
By substitution
They see a chance to attack CCP the ruling class who believe in (?)
Let’s clarify “ruling class” and (?)
As you rightly observed, ruling class admissions are thru
Oxbridge in UK, Super PAC’s in the US and CCP in the mainland
which one of these has the most liberal admission?
You’re right that “the majority of the world's population
have been decieved by western dysinformation into mistaking that
CCP is “striving for control of the people's thinking
and for the control of their everyday life”
Define (?) by CCP performance which has been and will be
more respectable than that of western super-capitalists.
That’s why we must stop political foul-mouth like Mr Brock
from perpetrating dysinformation
and perpetrating hypocritical generosity.
I do wish you would stop quoting me - it was bmr that wrote just a day or two ago about the Oxbridge ruling class. We know the failings of democracy but do you know the failings of the Communist Parties in the world? The problem with the Communist Party is that they have been responsible for high profile mass murders through misgovernment and attempts to hold on to power - The Great Leap Forward, The Cultural Revolution, Tianamen Square.
This is what we can see. What can't we see?
To draw a line in the sand - you support the Communist Party. I don't. The thing is this, you seem to want some dialogue - some democratic discussion - but are not prepared to go further. What democracy has shown us is that no political party can stay popular and win election to govern for 60 years. The people within a country when they are dissatisfied will seek change. Under the current system there is no choice for change. The people are never heard unless it suits the ruling class. Chinese people are that - you get it? They are people with feelings, intelligence and a desire for change. But they will never really be heard.
It's "disinformation". How about the Chinese "Communist" super capitalists?
“To straddle the middle ground and win elections, we have to be in charge of the political agenda. This can only be done by not being beaten in the argument with our critics. They complain that I come down too hard on their arguments. But wrong ideas have to be challenged before they influence public opinion and make for problems. Those who try to be clever at the expense of the government should not complain if my replies are as sharp as their criticisms.”
― Lee Kuan Yew
Mr Brock offered his help to married people about harmonious marital relations. He has an idea to fill a huge void in limey family education. If there hadn’t been problems between Mr and Mrs Saxe-Coburg-Gotha-Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glucksburg, there won’t have been the consequential difficulties of Ms Spencer and Mrs Bowles. He also has an opinion to fill a huge void. Given the notable weaknesses in its male line, limey regal succession should be passed thru Spencer to the House of Al-Fayed. Thank you Mr Brock.

Do jve & Co think differently? If not, then why not welcome views Mr Brock voices above enjoying his freedom of speech? It is much more disarming to say 'yes, yes, we know that, obviously, duh, thanks' than to draw this much attention by whining about how hurt your feelings are.
jve, if only you knew how funny you have been all along.
Comment almost wholly unintelligible.
so if this refers to an article published in the same newspaper over the weekend, wouldn't it be a good idea to include a hyperlink to that other text for ease of reference?
I hope SCMP's e-interface will continue to improve so that it might one day match that of other English newspapers and magazines such as Guardian, FT.com, NYT...




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