The recent change in the wording of an item in a government fact sheet from “Hong Kong People ruling Hong Kong” to “Hong Kong People administering Hong Kong” is not a big one, the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs said in the Legislative Council Wednesday.
The change, made to the English version on the Hong Kong government website, does not affect the Chinese version, Raymond Tam Chi-yuen said.
In the past, the government has used wording similar to “Hong Kong People administering Hong Kong” in official documents, so people should not overspeculate about the reason, he said.
Tam said that the most important thing is that the principle of “Hong Kong People ruling Hong Kong” has been implemented in the city.
Civic Party legislator Claudia Mo Man-ching said there is a huge difference between “ruling” and “administering”. The former implies a lot more autonomy for the city’s leaders, she said.
Fellow Civic Party lawmaker Kwok Ka-ki said Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying should explain whether the “Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong” principle is no longer in effect.
Tam replied there is no need to ask Leung about a minor change in translation.
Last month, activist investor David Webb wrote in his blog that the government made the change in mid-December in its fact sheet about the Basic Law, prepared by the Information Services Department.
The fact sheet used to say: “The Basic Law is a constitutional document for the HKSAR. It enshrines within a legal document the important concepts of ‘one country, two systems’, ‘a high degree of autonomy’ and ‘Hong Kong People ruling Hong Kong’.”
But it has been changed to say: “The Basic Law is a constitutional document for the HKSAR. It enshrines within a legal document the important concepts of ‘one country, two systems’, ‘Hong Kong People administering Hong Kong’ and a high degree of autonomy.”
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