It comes as no surprise that some Hong Kong people may feel uneasy about Xinhua's Hong Kong chief Jiang Enzhu's bid to become a Hong Kong deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC). Some critics say it is inappropriate for a mainland official to become a local NPC deputy as it would undermine the 'one country, two systems' and 'Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong with a high degree of autonomy' principles. Others even translate Mr Jiang's candidacy as 'Beijing people ruling Hong Kong'. Let's look at this issue fairly and dispassionately. Article 21 of the Basic Law provides 'Chinese citizens who are residents of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall be entitled to participate in the management of state affairs according to law'. The second part of Article 21 provides for the election of Hong Kong deputies to the NPC, China's highest organ of state power. But what are the critics saying? Are they saying that the NPC will interfere in Hong Kong matters? As the supreme lawmaking body, the NPC can apply national laws to Hong Kong by adding to Annex III of the Basic Law (Article 18), or indeed by amending the Basic Law, but no amendments shall contravene the established basic policies of the PRC regarding Hong Kong (Article 159). Some critics say that the new 36 local NPC deputies will assume an expanded role in Hong Kong politics. There is also concern that they will become ex-officio members of our Election Committee. They also argue that local NPC deputies will also be involved in amending the Basic Law but so will Legco and the Chief Executive. But none of these points are new. How then did Mr Jiang get into the thick of this? Many assumptions are made to create these concerns. As critics proceed to justify their criticisms they seem to have conveniently forgotten the Basic Law; forgotten our local election laws which mirror-image provisions of the Basic Law to provide that only permanent residents of Hong Kong have the right to vote in our Legco and local elections; forgotten Mr Jiang's right as a Chinese citizen resident in Hong Kong to run for a local NPC seat. There's also talk of conflict of interest. It seems that we are incapable of talking about the mainland and Hong Kong without assuming there has to be a conflict of interest. There may well be, but why do we assume that the local NPC deputies, including Mr Jiang, would not be able to act independently and responsibly in the best interest of Hong Kong? Are they also assuming that Mr Jiang, as a local deputy, will have that much more influence over other local deputies? Or that he would high-handedly manipulate his fellow local deputies? Isn't this being rather unfair and insulting of all NPC candidates or deputies-to-be? It is important to remember that the Basic Law guarantees all Hong Kong residents who are Chinese citizens the right to contend for a seat. In as much as we defend those entitled to run we must also defend Mr Jiang's right, for it would be wholly wrong to have double standards. But whatever the rational and legal basis may be, there is no denying that some Hong Kong people feel uneasy about a mainland official being a local NPC deputy. Even some staunch defenders of Mr Jiang's rights question whether it is the wisest thing to do. Perhaps the community finds the idea of a bureaucrat running for a seat on the country's highest lawmaking body unpalatable. Perhaps they have forgotten it is common in the mainland for officials at different levels to hold political offices. The choice is in the electors' hands and we must not and have no right to stifle any political voice.