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HK needs re-enlightenment of Basic Law

Editor: Zhang Dan 丨CCTV.com

06-19-2015 21:27 BJT

By Wang Qianhua, associate professor of Hong Kong and Macao Basic Law Research Center, University of Shenzhen

A reform package for chief executive universal suffrage was vetoed yesterday at the Hong Kong Legislative Council. This is a major loss for democracy and would hinder Hong Kong's economic and social development.

Due to the small-scale and openness of Hong Kong’s economy, it is more easily affected by global economic and political circumstances. It can enjoy economic flexibility and may also take risk as a detached region.  

Nonetheless, Hong Kong is confronting many economic problems caused by societal problems, such as the decreasing supply of land, social class solidification, inadequate innovations, and the widening gap between rich and poor. Many challenges are becoming dangers.

People can make various attempts to put forward an institutional reform package or solutions, but any reform program is required to be carried out by politicians with authority, credibility, and an efficient executive administration. The 2017 Hong Kong Chief Executive election has been given much attention with high expectations from the central government and local grassroots. The relationship between the democratic process and economic, social development has been closely related.

Nevertheless, a few legislators against the political reform package have blocked the roadmap of Hong Kong’s democratic process. What we are concerned most about is whether the intense social conflicts would ensue with the rejection of the 2017 executive universal suffrage package. Hence, the debate between different political ideas would become increasingly intense. The political spectrum of parties would narrow down. Polarized politics may become the norm.

Legislators against the package have expressed concerns that the “provisional scheme” will turn into a “permanent policy”. However, a timetable for the next set of political reforms has yet to be determined. We fear that the “provisional rejection” will turn into a “permanent rejection”.

Facing such social unrest during the post-political reform era in Hong Kong, the central government will not change but strengthen implementation of the basic governing strategy that is regulated by the practice of the “One Country, Two Systems” policy in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region ( HKSAR ).

The Basic Law is formulated in accordance with the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China, which stipulates that the system and policies be instituted in the HKSAR. Therefore, Hong Kong has an obligation to safeguard the national constitution,correct some Hong Kong residents’ misunderstanding of the high degree of autonomy. Meanwhile, some people’s prejudices against the Basic Law are more serious than their ignorance.

The following work should be included in a new round of enlightenment about the Basic Law:

To let more people know how the Basic Law was drafted The efforts will offer all Hong Kong residents the opportunity to understand the relation between the national Constitution and the Basic Law of Hong Kong, understand the origins of each provision and the interconnecting relations of all its provisions. Hong Kong and the mainland share the same reciprocal interests and a common destiny.

To clarify public education on the Basic Law as part of the comprehensive education for all Hong Kong residents. The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is obliged to educate local teenagers on the Basic Law, integrate it into general education along with textbooks compilations.

The Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region must strengthen education on Chinese history, especially modern Chinese history. Local teenagers should have the correct outlook on national and Hong Kong’s history. Accordingly, young people can cultivate an awareness of national identity.

To promote implementation of Article 9 of the Basic Law, which stipulates a bilingual legal system, creating the judicial precedent in the Chinese speaking environment, and turn around the phenomenon of most judicial precedent procedures processed and written in the English-language, not Chinese.

We must examine how Hong Kong Youth with Chinese nationality can enjoy their rights and carry out their obligations in accordance with national Constitution, and provide them with the right approaches to participate in the nation-building process as Chinese citizens.




Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

Panview offers an alternative angle on China and the rest of the world through the analyses and opinions of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.



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