Date
20 November 2017
Wang Zhenmin, dean of Tsinghua University's law school, says Hong Kong people have overreacted to Beijing's recent white paper on 'one country, two systems'. Photo: ifeng.com
Wang Zhenmin, dean of Tsinghua University's law school, says Hong Kong people have overreacted to Beijing's recent white paper on 'one country, two systems'. Photo: ifeng.com

Mainland legal expert defends Beijing’s white paper

China’s recent White Paper on Hong Kong has merely sought to reiterate the success of the “one country, two systems” policy, a mainland academic said, adding that the extreme reaction the document drew among some circles in Hong Kong was unwarranted.

Wang Zhenmin, dean of the Tsinghua University School of Law, said the white paper doesn’t really say anything new, as it just outlines the guiding principle that will ensure long-term stability and prosperity for Hong Kong, RTHK reported Thursday.

“The response from the Hong Kong society is well beyond my expectation,” Wang — a former member of the Basic Law Committee — was quoted as saying during a speech at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club (FCC) in Hong Kong.

The white paper said the central government has “overall jurisdiction” over Hong Kong. The term is not new at all, Wang said, pointing out that it refers to China’s sovereignty over Hong Kong, which is an old concept.

He noted that there might be “inaccuracy” and “omissions” in the English version of the white paper, which many in the city have interpreted as a threat to local judicial independence.

Former Democratic Party lawmaker Martin Lee Chu-ming, who attended the event at the FCC, said it is wrong for the white paper to require Hong Kong’s judges to be “loyal” to China. If the judges indeed conform to that requirement, it will make them biased when they deal with cases that touch on China’s interests, Lee said.

As Wang was making his speech, four persons — said to be supporters of the Occupy Central movement — staged a protest by holding aloft a banner that criticized Beijing for thwarting universal suffrage, according to RTHK.

Beijing unveiled its white paper on Hong Kong in June, stirring huge criticism among the city’s pan-democrats.

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JZ/RC

Freelance journalist

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