A political commentator has accused the Hong Kong government of bowing to political pressure from Beijing by stopping local activists who wanted to sail to the Diaoyu Islands for what they said was a fishing trip. Marine police officers said under the law, the boat was not allowed to carry passengers. Lawyers helping the activists argue that the crew members were sailors or had sailing qualifications. In a recent opinion piece in the South China Morning Post, political commentator Albert Cheng King-hon said the government had 'unashamedly tried to block the local Diaoyu movement and deter people from participating'. Cheng believes that while Hong Kong, under the 'one country, two systems' principle, does not have the power to administer its foreign affairs and defence issues, 'that doesn't mean the city has to follow every step the central government takes in 'managing' Diaoyu-related protests'. Cheng said the government had used 'administrative measures to crack down on political activities'. He gave another example of this. In May, police removed a replica of the 'Goddess of Democracy' - the statue built by mainland students during the democracy movement in 1989 - from Times Square because officials said it was unlicensed 'entertainment'. In the Diaoyu incident, the government departments involved might argue they are just doing their job. The Marine Department believes the Kai Fong II, or Diaoyu II, would not be used just for fishing. The activists argue that any other motives behind their planned trip are irrelevant under the law. They also say their rights to travel freely under the Basic Law have been infringed. Similarly, the organisers of the 'Goddess of Democracy' exhibition said they were simply exercising their rights to freedom of speech in a public space. The potential conflicts between 'rights' set out under the Basic Law and the application of other laws and regulations can involve tricky legal and political issues - and questions which have no easy answers.