Political heavyweights in Hong Kong, including former Legislative Council president Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai, have voiced support for Beijing’s controversial white paper on “one country two systems”, RTHK reported Thursday.
The white paper, released by the State Council on Tuesday, said — among other things — that both judges and judicial officers are responsible for safeguarding the national sovereignty, safety and interests as they are part of the governing body.
“Hong Kong is one part of China, and even in US and Europe, judicial officers would take into account the social impact and national safety when deciding upon rulings. I don’t think courts here will make decisions that are intended to cause social problems,” Fan, a member of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC), was quoted as saying.
Maria Tam, a barrister and member of the Hong Kong Basic Law Committee under the NPCSC, said the white paper was a reminder of the original intentions of the Basic Law.
Although the Basic Law states that Hong Kong has independent judicial and adjudicative power, it does not mean that jurisdiction is not a part of the political system, Tam added.
Jasper Tsang, Legislative Council president, agreed the paper did not offer a new stance on “one country, two systems” but pointed out that it did emphasize important principles of the policy. This would ensure that the debate on political reform in Hong Kong returned to provisions in the Basic Law.
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