Hong Kong should look at the Basic Law from its perspective as well as that of the central government, or the two systems cannot coexist under the “one country” framework, Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung said.
In a recent interview with Xinhua News Agency, Yuen said the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s mini constitution, was produced under the framework of “one country, two systems”, and therefore it cannot be observed and interpreted from the perspective of just one side, Apple Daily reported on Monday.
On many occasions, he said, Hong Kong does not understand the mainland’s legal situation and vice versa, producing a negative effect when both sides collaborate.
To change that, Yuen emphasized the need for full communication between the two sides.
Yuen’s remarks came after Liaison Office Director Zhang Xiaoming said at a weekend conference marking the 25th anniversary of the Basic Law that Hong Kong’s chief executive is below the central government but above the executive, judiciary and legislature branches of the Special Administrative Region government.
Zhang’s speech prompted criticism from members of the pan-democratic camp, who said such comments were tantamount to elevating the Hong Kong leader’s status to that of an emperor.
Civic Party leader Alan Leong Kah-kit said he supports “one country, two systems” but it is just baloney if one country comes before two systems, adding that Yuen should step forward and correct Zhang’s comments in public.
In the Xinhua interview, Yuen also said Hong Kong is facing challenges in the aftermath of last year’s Occupy protests. He cited the anti-parallel trading demonstrations seen earlier this year and also recently.
While Hong Kong citizens enjoy full freedom of speech and assembly, it is wrong for people to jeopardize others’ rights and even the social order when exercising their rights.
It is very dangerous to do illegal things in the name of political appeal, he said, adding that confrontation is not the best policy and everyone should be more forgiving to show respect for democracy.
As for his remaining two years in office, Yuen stressed he will do his best to preserve rule of law, the core value of Hong Kong, and everything he does will be based on two standards, law and the society’s overall interests.
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