Calling for an end to communist rule in China ‘is a crime against Hong Kong’
Director of central government’s liaison office in city notes recent amendments to national constitution, which he says local residents need to learn more about
Any Hongkonger who opposes the Communist Party’s leadership of China is committing a crime against the city and its mode of government, Beijing’s top man in Hong Kong declared on Friday.
Wang Zhimin, director of the central government’s liaison office in the city, said Hong Kong needs to encourage its residents to respect and understand the Chinese constitution, as it is the “root and foundation” of its future.
Wang’s warning came a day after pro-democracy activists in the city, on the day of the Ching Ming festival, called for an end to “one-party dictatorship” in China, as they marked the deaths of students and activists in the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown.
In a reference to Hong Kong’s return from British to Chinese rule in 1997, Wang said: "It has now been 20 years since the handover. We can say that without our motherland, led by the Chinese Communist Party ... there is no ‘one country, two systems’, and there is no Hong Kong special administrative region.”
Under the one country, two systems principle, Hong Kong is guaranteed a high degree of autonomy from the mainland government.
“If you oppose this system, you are overturning our one country, two systems. This is a crime committed against Hong Kong people. It will not bring blessings to Hong Kong, but calamity," Wang said.
Last month Tam Yiu-chung, a deputy to the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, the nation’s highest legislative body, said anyone who called for an end to “one-party dictatorship” risked disqualification from elections. That was because Article 1 of the Chinese constitution was recently amended to denote the party’s leadership as “the most essential feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics”, and calling for that leadership to end would contradict it.
Commenting on all of the recent amendments, Wang noted that “Xi Jinping Thought”, the president’s eponymous political theory, was included in the latest version of the constitution. He said as one country, two systems is one of the 14 points that form the theory, the amended constitution offers a “stronger safeguard” for the principle, Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy, and the city’s future development.
He said Hong Kong needed to promote “an obedience towards the spirit” of the Chinese constitution, as the document is the city’s “root and foundation”.