Interpretations helpful for ensuring HK's prospeirty, stability
The legal interpretations by the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee of provisions of annexes of the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), in accordance with the Constitution and the Basic Law, are helpful for a correct understanding and effective implementation of the Basic Law, for a healthy development of Hong Kong's constitutional system in accordance with the Basic Law, and for the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong.
This was remarked by Wu Bangguo, chairman of the NPC Standing Committee and a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, atTuesday's closing session of the Eighth Meeting of the Tenth NPC Standing Committee.
The meeting discussed and approved "Interpretations by the NPC Standing Committee of the Seventh Article of Annex I and the ThirdArticle of Annex II to the Basic Law of the Hong Kong SAR".
In his speech, Wu pointed out that the development of the constitutional system in Hong kong has a bearing on the implementation of the principle of "one country, two systems" and the Basic Law, relations between the Central Authorities and the Hong Kong SAR, the interests of all Hong Kong people, and the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong. The Central Governmenthas always given top priority to the development of constitutional system in Hong Kong.
In accordance with the Constitution and the Basic Law, the right to interpret the Basic Law belongs to the NPC Standing Committee, Wu said, noting that it is necessary and timely for the NPC Standing Committee to make the interpretations, to ensure a healthy development of the constitutional system in Hong Kong in line with the Basic Law.
Wu said the NPC Standing Committee worked out the interpretations on the basis of hearing extensively public opinions and strictly in accordance with legal procedures. The Meeting of NPC Chairman and Chairpersons proposed the draft of the interpretations after studying opinions by some NPC deputies and consulting relevant legal experts who participated in the draftingof the Hong Kong Basic Law, he said.
According to the top lawmaker, before the draft of the interpretations was handed over to the NPC Standing Committee for discussion and approval, it was given to the Basic Law Committee of the Hong Kong SAR of the NPC Standing Ccommittee for opinions, in accordance with procedures defined by Article 158 of the Basic Law. The Basic Law Committee expressed consent on the contents of the interpretations after a full discussion.
Opinions were also sought from a special group on constitutional development of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government and NPC deputies and members of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference from Hong Kong, Wu said.
Wu pointed out that the Basic Law of the Hong Kong SAR is a national law enacted by the National People's Congress, the supreme legislature of China, and is superior to SAR laws in the Hong Kong SAR, or in other words, no laws enacted by the Hong Kong SAR's legislative council are allowed to run against the Basic Law.
The Basic Law defines all the national principles and policies on Hong Kong in the form of a basic law, with the Constitution as the basis and the principle of "one country, two systems" as the guidance, he said, adding it is the legal ground and basis for the implementation of the principles of "one country, two systems", "the governing of Hong Kong by Hong Kong people" and a high degree of autonomy.
Wu said the legal interpretations made by the NPC Standing Committee on relevant provisions of the Basic Law have the same power as the Basic Law must be abided by and implemented by all circles.
He called for seriously studying and strictly implementing the Basic Law, so as to safeguard the rule of law in Hong Kong and ensure the long-term prosperity and stability in Hong Kong.
At the end of his speech, Wu recalled the development in Hong Kong since its returning to the motherland six years ago. The implementation of the principles and the Basic Law is good in general, he noted.
With the all-out support of the Central Government and the whole Chinese people and through the joint efforts of the SAR government headed by Chief Executive Tung Chee Hwa and people of Hong Kong from all circles, Hong Kong has overcome difficulties and impacts brought by the Asian financial crisis, changes in external economic environment, and the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), maintained the stability of the general situation,and consolidated its status as an international center for trade, finance and shipping.
Hong Kong's practice indicates that the principle of "one country, two
systems" is completely correct and enjoys a great vitality, Wu stressed. The
Basic Law is compliant to the reality of Hong Kong and an important assurance
for the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong, and the people of Hong Kong are
completely capable of governing Hong Kong well, he said.