• Tue
  • Dec 23, 2014
  • Updated: 12:33pm
Beijing White Paper 2014
NewsHong Kong
POLITICS

Beijing emphasises its total control over Hong Kong in white paper

State Council’s white paper sets record straight on ‘one country, two systems’ and issues stern warning over interference by ‘outside forces’

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 10 June, 2014, 5:50pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 11 June, 2014, 4:33pm
 

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11 Jun 2014
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The central government holds "comprehensive jurisdiction" over Hong Kong and is the source of its autonomy, Beijing said yesterday in an unprecedented white paper intended to set the tone for political debate.

It stressed that while the city could, in the future, choose its leader through universal suffrage, that person had to be loyal to the country.

China's national security and interests were at stake, it added.

While similar views have been made by mainland officials before, the timing and the way the document was released show Beijing is determined to put its foot down over Hong Kong's political development.

The white paper, issued by the State Council, said "many wrong views are currently rife in Hong Kong" and added: "Some people are confused or lopsided in their understanding of the policy [one country, two systems] and the Basic Law."

The paper, released in seven languages through Xinhua, came 10 days before Occupy Central activists calling for greater democracy hold an unofficial referendum on options for the 2017 election of the chief executive.

IN FULL: Chinese State Council white paper on ‘One Country, Two Systems’ policy in Hong Kong

Beijing reminded the public that Hong Kong was just "one of the local administrative regions" and it was the central government's prerogative to oversee how it runs local affairs.

"The high degree of autonomy enjoyed by Hong Kong is subject to the central government's authorisation. There is no such thing called 'residual power' for the special administrative region," it said.

It also warned against "outside forces" using the city to interfere in China's domestic affairs.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said the white paper was in line with the Basic Law.

"The white paper looks forward to how this principle [one country, two systems] could further be implemented to the benefit of both Hong Kong and the country," he said.

But Occupy Central organiser Benny Tai Yiu-ting disagreed. "[Beijing is] trying to scare Hongkongers into silence," Tai said.

And Civic Party leader Alan Leong Kah-kit accused Beijing of backtracking on its promises.

"Hong Kong and the international community will not play dumb. We will hold you to your words … enshrined in black and white in the Basic Law," Leong insisted. He was apparently referring to Articles 12 to 14, which state that Hong Kong shall enjoy "a high degree of autonomy".

Lau Siu-kai, vice-president of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macau Studies, said Beijing felt it had to set the record straight. "The pan-democrats tried to reject the central government's power during the debate on political reform," he said.

Zhou Bo, deputy director of the State Council's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, and Zhang Rongshun, deputy director of the Basic Law Committee, will come to Hong Kong next week to further elaborate on the white paper.

Tony Cheung, Gary Cheung, Samuel Chan and Ng Kang-chung

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This article is now closed to comments

blue
"Hong Kong’s autonomy is not inherent but depends solely on Beijing’s approval"

Hong Kong's autonomy as well as the Basic Law derives its authority from the Sino-British Joint Declaration which is legally binding international law. It is not solely dependent on Beijing's approval, and no matter how many times Beijing tries to tell this lie, it won't come true.

I suggest reading the scholarly paper written by Alvin Y.H. Cheung called "Road to Nowhere - Hong Kong's Democratisation and China's Obligations Under Public International Law"

You can read the paper here: papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2413321

China has international obligations to introduce genuine universal suffrage in Hong Kong. Although Beijing has special reserved powers under the Basic Law, Beijing can not simply arbitrarily dissolve the Basic Law and end HK's autonomy without being in complete violation of international law.
blue
Wow a lot of 50 cent losers are disliking my post. I speak the truth and have sourced my post with a well written scholarly paper written by international law legal experts. A bunch of sycophants can't turn black into white.

Also JayB, most international laws ARE respected by countries provided that the international law is signed AND ratified. To Beijing's credit, they have successfully implemented most of the requirements of the Sino-British Join Declaration through the Basic Law. Now they need to finish the job by introducing genuine universal suffrage.

The most effective enforcement mechanism to compel Beijing to comply with the Sino-British Joint Declaration is pressure from the HK public. Beijing is already feeling the heat and is fretting over the fact that HK is ungovernable since the HK government lacks legitimacy and a mandate with its existing method of electing the Chief Executive. With constitutionally guaranteed free speech it is extremely difficult to successfully run a undemocratic form of government.

Although public nomination isn't going to happen (it plainly violates the Basic Law as noted by the HK Bar Association), a genuine form of universal suffrage that complies with the ICCPR can still be possible as proven by moderate academics here in HK.
pangkf
Being a Hongkonger, it's obvious to realize that the past success of Hong Kong was greatly related to the good governance and system that the British established for us. I will well remember and thank for them. The good governance and system from the British brought Hong Kong people many happy and peaceful memories. But Hong Kong seems to be doomed now. I am very sad.
andao
Maybe if Beijing did a better job, HKers wouldn't be so susceptible to these mysterious, unidentified hostile foreign forces?
And it's good to know that being patriotic is more important than being, say, honest, competent, hardworking, or intelligent. Meritocracy is for losers.
blue
"The fact that control needs to be reasserted is a sign of weakness and implies that Beijing indeed appears to be losing control over the development and direction of Hong Kong."

Exactly right. This white paper is pathetic. It reeks of desperation, paranoia, fragility, and insecurity.
blue
"What can the UK do? Nothing."

The UK can continue to make public statements which clearly rattles China since their dumb 50 cent running dogs bark like crazy about "internal affairs" every time the UK says anything regarding HK's democratic development. Sorry you 50 cent losers, but the UK has an obligation under the Sino-British Joint Declaration to make comments about HK's democratic development.

What terrifies Beijing the most is the angry HK public who is tired of being denied genuine universal suffrage and is becoming more confrontational about it by the day. Hk will destabilize and become completely ungovernable soon if genuine universal suffrage is not introduced, and even Beijing knows it now.
hodfords
The tanks are coming. The biggest foreign threat to our wholesome city is coming from the North. Let us take a moment to remind ourselves what happened in Tiananmen in 1989 when the PLA intervened.
I am extremely worried about the future of Hong Kong and at the same time question China's ability to rule.
virokick
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.
A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.
John F. Kennedy
blue
Except that their messages really comes off as "We're fragile, insecure, and terrified of HK people"
blue
You gotta love the morons that Beijing pays to post here like skywalker who thinks it's acceptable to have the PLA shoot down Hong Kongers for protesting.

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