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Monday, December 24, 2018, 11:19
'Basic Law interpretations ensure HK's prosperity and stability'
By Willa Wu
Monday, December 24, 2018, 11:19 By Willa Wu

The NPCSC interpretations of the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region played an important role in sustaining the SAR’s stability and prosperity, said Qiao Xiaoyang, former head of the National People's Congress Constitution and Law Committee.

The Social atmosphere in Hong Kong has seen remarkable changes since the interpretation and values such as integrity and discipline started to prevail, the former chairman of the NPCSC Basic Law Committee concluded

Combing through the NPC Standing Committee’s five Basic Law interpretations in an article published by China News Service on Saturday, Qiao noted the NPCSC’s latest interpretation, on Article 104 of the city’s constitutional document in November 2016, has helped curb Hong Kong independence and foster social integrity.

In response to a few legislators-elect’s radical behavior during the SAR’s Legislative

Council oath-taking ceremony in 2016, the country’s top legislature issued an interpretation on Article 104 of the HKSAR Basic Law. Qiao pointed out that this interpretation’s significance lies in the fact that it clarified “to uphold the Basic Law of the HKSAR of the People's Republic of China” and “to bear allegiance to the HKSAR of the PRC”, as prescribed in the LegCo oath, are legal requirements and preconditions for standing for elections or assuming offices.

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Describing it as of key importance, Qiao said the 2016 interpretation effectively curbed Hong Kong independence-related activities, safeguarded national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and boosted the accurate understanding and implementation of the Basic Law. 

Social atmosphere in Hong Kong has seen remarkable changes since the interpretation and values such as integrity and discipline started to prevail, the former chairman of the NPCSC Basic Law Committee concluded.

Since then, six lawmakers have been disqualified by the SAR's High Court for violating the legal requirements when taking oaths.

In reviewing the other four interpretations of the Basic Law, Qiao said the first one, made in 1996, stipulated that children born only after their parents have become permanent residents of Hong Kong are entitled to the right of abode in the HKSAR. He said the interpretation was welcomed by local residents, and helped maintain Hong Kong’s social order.

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The second and the third interpretations, in 2004 and 2005 respectively, streamlined the process of electing and replacing the SAR’s chief executive. They showed the central government’s leading role in the SAR’s constitutional development, Qiao added.

The fourth interpretation came in 2011, which stipulated that Hong Kong government cannot exercise diplomatic rights and should stick to national legislations in this regard.

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