Date
19 November 2017
Legislative Council president Jasper Tsang said the successful implementation of the “one country, two systems” principle must be built on mutual trust between Hong Kong and the central government. Photo: HKEJ
Legislative Council president Jasper Tsang said the successful implementation of the “one country, two systems” principle must be built on mutual trust between Hong Kong and the central government. Photo: HKEJ

Jasper Tsang warns of tightening policies from Beijing

Legislative Council president Jasper Tsang is worried that the Occupy protest movement could lead to Beijing tightening its policies for Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Wednesday.

Citing contradictions in the “one country, two systems” policy for the territory, Tsang said the Basic Law would allow Hong Kong’s chief executive to be elected by universal suffrage, but whoever is elected must still be officially appointed by the central government.

He also said that under the common law, the final interpretation of laws rests with the courts. But the National People’s Congress, China’s parliament, has the sole right to interpret the Basic Law.

Tsang stressed that the successful implementation of the “one country, two systems” principle must be built on mutual trust between Hong Kong and the central government.

Developments such as the protests against national education would only worry Beijing and prompt it to tighten control on Hong Kong, Tsang said. It could become a vicious cycle when Hong Kong people develop a stronger sense of opposition to Beijing’s tightening grip.

Tsang is convinced that both Beijing and the “hawks” in the Hong Kong government would not like to see bloodshed resulting from civil disobedience activities in the territory. Therefore, all parties should remain vigilant to avoid such a tragedy, he said.

The veteran legislator and politician said it is highly likely the central government would tighten its Hong Kong policies.

“From anti-national education to branding of mainland tourists as locusts and other issues highlighting the contradictions between the two places, the central government could be led to believe that Hong Kong is stepping up its opposition to the mainland, despite the latter’s economic assistance in the form of the individual visitor scheme and [the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement],” he said.

Tsang said he had hoped the chief executive election in 2017 would be a major opportunity for change in Hong Kong. But the situation has gone downhill, he said.

Nonetheless, Hong Kong should never give up its search for a way out of this situation, he said.

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EL/AC/CG

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