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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.

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POLITICS

'Stop interfering in Hong Kong's internal affairs', China tells US

Outburst by Foreign Ministry comes as scholars' electoral reform plan receives positive response

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 09 April, 2014, 4:19pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 10 April, 2014, 7:54pm

The United States should respect its relationship with China and stop interfering in Hong Kong's internal affairs, the Foreign Ministry said yesterday, using stronger language than usual.

Its outburst came in response to a meeting between two veteran pan-democrats and high-ranking US officials last week in which the city's democratic reforms were discussed.

"What has been done by the US side is completely wrong," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said.

"China hereby expresses strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition. We urge the US to bear in mind the overall interests of China-US relations, earnestly respect China's position and concerns and stop any form of interference in the internal affairs of Hong Kong."

Hong said the development of Hong Kong's political system fell within the country's domestic affairs and that "no foreign forces are allowed to interfere".

Anson Chan Fang On-sang, the former chief secretary and the convenor of pro-democracy group Hong Kong 2020, and Martin Lee Chu-ming, founding chairman of Hong Kong's Democratic Party, met Vice-President Joe Biden on Friday as part of a two-week visit to the US and Canada.

Biden spoke of the States' support for democracy in Hong Kong and for the city's high degree of autonomy under the one country, two systems framework. Lee asked Congress to bring back the US-Hong Kong Policy Act.

The Act, passed in 1992, required the US Secretary of State to report to Congress on Hong Kong developments, including its autonomy, until 2007.

The spat comes as electoral reform proposals made by a group of 18 academics received a positive welcome from two high-ranking government officials.

Under the April 2 proposal, a candidate who receives signatures of support from 2 per cent of registered voters - about 70,000 people - will have his name presented to the 1,200-member nominating committee.

Such candidates must secure support from an eighth of the committee before being put to the citywide ballot.

Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-Keung said yesterday he was glad that "in the 18 scholars' proposal, they did not insist on public nomination, and I think at least it is easier for a consensus to be reached.

"There's been much discussion on public nomination, but I can see the society is starting to accept that there are other ways to discuss political reform."

Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor was also upbeat. "The Basic Law requires the final nomination right to be left exclusively with the nominating committee," Lam said.

"From this perspective, the scholars' plan does not deviate from that legal requirement.

"I hope the 18 scholars can explain further how their proposal is in line with other reform principles, including balanced participation and achieving a widely representative committee."

Lam and her reform team - Yuen and Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Raymond Tam Chi-yuen - are to meet scholars next week, including some from the group of 18.

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This article is now closed to comments

321manu
The drinking game: every time Hong Lei says "internal affairs", you take a shot. This is not a game for those who can't handle their booze, cuz you're gonna be taking a lot of shots.
req
What we need to do is stop those turds crawling into the US. Put Martin lee in a monkey cage and send him back to the jungle where he came from....
Ant Lee
Mainland China should stop interfering Hong Kong immediately.
mercedes2233
Dear Ant, Did you hear in your ant hill that Hong Kong now belongs to China?
honger
China is not interfering in Hong Kong since Hong Kong is part of China, The US is interfering in Hong Kong - and Ukraine, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Palestine, etc - since HK and these countries are not part of the US.
Don't spout nonsense please, you insult the very name you choose since ants are very orderly, asocial and deeply loyal to their queen and colony.
syn
Are you comparing the people of China and their loyalty to the party to insects? Yikes.
hm03
One country two system so stfu
How About
Oops times' up 7 years ago!
.
We dare you and Obama to go to Congress and extend the Act, let's do one for Tibet, Xinjiang Uyghur, renew the one with Japan and Taiwan while you are at it! This time better include a map of all of the Diaoyu Islands (belonging to Japan), and all of the South China Sea belonging to PP!
.
honger
They want to resurrect it to make the interference more legitimate - the meddling is still ongoing despite the Act being lifted 7 years ago! Uncle Sam's presence on this board is proof enough.....
andreaswagner
If China wants to be respected, it should start to EARN respect. Respect can not be bought.

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