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No one is allowed to hurt HK stability
By Au Wen (China Daily HK Edition)
Updated: 2004-04-09 08:51

The delegation led by Qiao Xiaoyang, deputy secretary general of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPCSC), presided Thursday over a two-session symposium on the interpretation of the Basic Law.

Qiao Xiaoyang (left), deputy secretary general of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, chats with Chief Secretary Donald Tsang yesterday during a seminar on the Basic Law interpretation. [newsphoto]

The group came to Hong Kong to conduct rational discussions with a view to promoting positive interactions and frank exchanges, seeking consensus and listening to different opinions. Qiao stressed that nobody would be allowed to create trouble in the name of a high degree of autonomy.

The central government has adopted a very enlightened and liberal attitude in promoting positive interactions and frank exchanges with all sectors of Hong Kong society. Yet its determination in upholding "One Country, Two Systems" and preserving Hong Kong's prosperity and stability will never waver.

Such an attitude will help Beijing gauge public opinion so that its policy and measures towards the SAR would conform to Hong Kong people's wishes and the city's actual situation. The central government's firm stance in upholding the principle of "One Country, Two Systems" and maintaining Hong Kong's prosperity and stability is the most reliable source of Hongkongers' confidence and the best safeguard of the territory's long-term peace.

After exchanging views with members of the legal sector, Qiao said that for legal systems to grind in, a high level of skills and immense knowledge is necessary. But he pointed out that since there is ample time in future to explore this subject, both sides could engage in further in-depth exchanges.

Qiao's pledge has proven that the central government is seeking communication with Hong Kong people in a moderate manner and on an equal footing.

It is, therefore, all the more necessary for Hong Kong to respond with a constructive attitude and, with due respect for the Basic Law, foster positive interaction between the "two systems" in the legal and other realms.

Yet a handful of "pro-democracy" legislators did not present their opinion in the spirit of frank exchanges. Instead, they put forward some preposterous requests, such as asking the NPC to promise not to give any more interpretations in future.

Such a request was an attempt to pitch the supreme State organ against the Constitution. Hongkongers should understand that interpretation of the Basic Law is not only a constitutional power, it is also a duty prescribed by the Constitution.

As a matter of fact, the interpretation exercise was undertaken solely for Hong Kong's benefit.

The "pro-democracy" legislators' demand has again exposed their inclination to reject "one country" and neglect Hong Kong people's well-being.

The premise of "One Country, Two Systems" is "one country". The high degree of autonomy Hong Kong enjoys is authorized by the central government; and a high degree of autonomy does not mean complete autonomy.

However, some people in Hong Kong are trying to create trouble under the excuse of a high degree of autonomy.

They deny and oppose the central government's right to have a leading role and final say in the territory's constitutional development.

They have also invited foreign intervention in Hong Kong affairs, aroused conflicts to divide society, disrupted the normal government operation and social order.

The NPCSC did not just make the interpretation because of the fact that the controversy surrounding constitutional development was already having a negative impact on the local economy and people's livelihoods.

It was also undertaken because some people were trying to wreak havoc in the territory.

This episode has shown that the central government will never allow anybody to throw Hong Kong into chaos by using a high degree of autonomy as a pretext.

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