HK underlined in NPC work report

THE principle of “one country, two systems” must comply with China’s constitution and Hong Kong’s Basic Law (《基本法》), Premier Li Keqiang (李克強) said.

That ups the stakes for the SAR (特區) in the wake of the Occupy Movement (佔領運動), experts say.

Li was delivering a 90-minute, 78-page government work report at the opening of the annual National People’s Congress (全國人大) in Beijing (北京). It was the first time the national constitution in relation to Hong Kong has been mentioned in the work report.

“Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong” and “a high degree of autonomy” were also mentioned in Li’s concluding remarks.

“The central government will steadfastly implement the principles of one country, two systems, Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong and Macau (澳門) people governing Macau and both regions having a high degree of autonomy,” Li said.

“We will give full support to the chief executives and governments of the Hong Kong and Macau special administrative regions in accordance with the laws, pursue economic development, improve citizens’ livelihoods, advance democracy and promote social harmony.”

Baptist University (浸會大學) government and international studies professor Michael DeGolyer (戴高禮) said Li was reflecting an elevation of Hong Kong as an area of national interest, particularly after Occupy, while reiterating the one country, two systems relationship.

(The Standard, 6 March 2015)