Date
21 September 2017
Calls for Hong Kong independence or self-determination are not in the city's interests, says Li Fei, chairman of the Basic Law Committee. Photo: HKEJ
Calls for Hong Kong independence or self-determination are not in the city's interests, says Li Fei, chairman of the Basic Law Committee. Photo: HKEJ

Separatism is a path to ruin, Li Fei warns

Any attempts to advocate Hong Kong separatism amount to destroying the “One Country, Two Systems” principle and will lead the city on the path to ruin, a top mainland official warned.

Li Fei, chairman of the Basic Law Committee, which deals with issues related to Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, said people who call for Hong Kong independence should realize that they are not doing the community any good.

In an interview with the pro-Beijing Bauhinia Magazine, Li said “One Country” comes before “Two Systems”, and that the two elements are not on an equal footing. 

“If the one country criterion does not apply, there is no place for two systems,” he argued.

Hongkongers must have faith in “One Country, Two Systems”, Li said, stressing that the framework is a fundamental national policy and not just a temporary makeshift strategy.

He insisted that there will be no changes to the governing principle as it has comprehensive public support and has become a tried and tested system, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

In the interview published in a special edition of Bauhinia to mark 20 years of Chinese sovereignty over Hong Kong, Li said it is not right to attribute all the frustrations of young people to one single issue — lack of direct elections for their chief executive.

Li said he believes economic and livelihood issues are the root of the problems, and that they can be resolved only through further development of the city.

Promoting democracy alone will not help, Li added.

In other comments, Li said the National People’s Committee has been adopting a cautious approach with regard to interpreting Hong Kong’s Basic Law.

Li went on to say that Hong Kong courts’ rights to interpret the Basic Law were assigned by the NPC. Hence, it is a pseudo-proposition to suggest that NPC’s interpretation of laws represents intervention in the judiciary independence in Hong Kong.

It is impossible for an assignee to limit the power of the assignor, the Basic Law Committee chief said.

Responding to Li’s comments, Civic Party leader and lawmaker Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu said Li himself has been putting out a pseudo-proposition with his accusations on the legal sector in Hong Kong.

Yeung said the NPC should refrain from using its power as Hongkongers were promised a high degree of autonomy under the city’s mini-constitution.

The lawmaker accused the central government of not following the agreed protocols with regard to law interpretation over the years.

- Contact us at english@hkej.com

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