Contrary to what Western media and politicians are reporting, the National Security Law for Hong Kong does not “terminate” the “one country, two systems” principle, said Hong Kong former chief executive Leung Chun-ying on Sunday.
Leung said the central government appoints the city’s elected chief executive and it, not the electorate, that grants the broad powers that give Hong Kong its high degree of autonomy.
On public broadcaster RTHK’s “Letter to Hong Kong” program, Leung explained that if not for the ‘one country, two systems’ principle, Beijing would have simply extended to Hong Kong the coverage of the national security laws that have been in force on the Chinese mainland.
“‘One country, two systems’ is alive and well. So are the freedoms that Hong Kong people enjoy,” he said.
Leung, who is also a vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, China's top political advisory body, added that he held Hong Kong did not utilize its autonomy, which is granted by the central government, to fulfill its national security obligations -- legislating for Article 23 of the Basic Law.
In the absence of such laws, there have been increasing threats to national security, particularly threats to the integrity of Chinese sovereignty over Hong Kong, he pointed out.
He referred to conducts by local opposition camp, including obstruction of enacting of Article 23 in 2003, the “Occupy Central” movement in 2014 and the most recent attempt to frustrate passage of the national anthem law, which outlaws insult to China's national anthem.
By doing so, they are attempting to remove the central government’s authority over Hong Kong, Leung said. He characterized such conducts as “secession” – one of the four major conducts the new National Security Law proscribes.
Leung said the central government appoints the city’s elected chief executive and it, not the electorate, that grants the broad powers that give Hong Kong its high degree of autonomy. Removing the central government from this equation but maintaining the powers of the chief executive is not democracy, Leung said. “It is secession by any definition”.
“What you read in the Western media has a lot to do with geopolitics and little with the freedoms of the Hong Kong people”, Leung said. “So think twice when you hear Western politicians say that ‘one country, two systems’ is dead in Hong Kong”.
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