Beijing official warns on `one country’ limits

The “one country, two systems” principle should not be used by “opposition forces” to attempt to snatch governance over the SAR, a Beijing official said.

Zhang Rongshun, vice chairman of the legislative affairs commission of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, was speaking at a forum in Beijing to mark the 25th anniversary of the promulgation of the Basic Law.

Zhang said “one country, two systems” is aimed at preserving the SAR’s status and that Beijing has sovereignty over Hong Kong.

Zhang told the forum, organized by the semi- official think-tank the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macau Studies, that the special constitutional institution as stipulated in the Basic Law is to acknowledge the country’s sovereignty on Hong Kong.

“It is not providing a stage for some forces and letting them snatch governance of Hong Kong and attempt to turn Hong Kong into an independent political entity or change the fundamental institution in the country,” he said.

Zhang said he is still optimistic the political reform for the 2017 chief executive election could be passed in the Legislative Council.

The association’s head, Chen Zuoer, said since Hong Kong is at a critical stage in the pursuit of political reform, politicians should have the courage to consider the matter from a macro perspective and not to neglect the SAR’s actual democratic development.

Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office deputy director Zhou Bo referred to late Singaporean prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, who predicted the friction between the SAR and central governments about political reform, unless it adhered to the Basic Law and national constitution.

Central government liason office deputy director Huang Lanfa criticized Occupy Central, which challenged the central government.

City University political scientist James Sung Lap-kung said Zhang referred to activists who launched Occupy Central as the “opposition forces.”

Civic Party lawmaker Alan Leong Kah-kit said Zhang’s remarks further worsened the ties between Hong Kong and the mainland and it is much better for Beijing officials not to make intimidating remarks.

Federation of Students secretary general-elect Nathan Law Kwun-chung said the Basic Law has clearly guaranteed Hong Kong people’s political rights.

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