A leading Beijing authority on the Basic Law has proposed that mainland authorities devote more resources to top universities to educate youngsters about Hong Kong's mini-constitution.
Rao Geping, a delegate to the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, said he had submitted a proposal for increased study of the Basic Law of Hong Kong and Macau at mainland universities to the secretariat of the nation's top advisory body.
Rao, also a member of the Basic Law Committee and a law professor at Peking University, said a strong pool of experts familiar with the Basic Law was crucial for the central government's implementation of the "one country, two systems" formula.
"There has been a dearth of new blood in the field of Basic Law study at mainland universities in recent years," he said.
"Not many mainland students are eager to specialise in the Basic Law, especially when they are choosing their field for doctoral degrees. For instance, Peking University has not enrolled a doctoral degree student specialising in the Basic Law since 2000."
He said there was a pressing need to groom younger experts as many first-generation scholars, like Xiao Weiyun and Wu Jianfan, had died.
Xu Chongde, a law professor at Renmin University and a mainland drafter of the Basic Law, is one of the few remaining members of that generation.
Rao, who has studied the mini-constitution since the 1980s, said about 20 universities on the mainland devoted resources to teaching and studying the Basic Law of Hong Kong and Macau.
"I hope the central government will grant more quotas for students who focus on the study of the Basic Law in doctoral programmes," he said.
Rao sad he hoped Peking University, where he is director of the Centre of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan Law Studies, would get some of the money.