The nation's Constitution is the "supreme embodiment" of the "one country, two systems" principle, Shen Chunyao, chairman of the Legislative Affairs Commission of the National People's Congress Standing Committee, said on Tuesday.
All Chinese, including Hong Kong compatriots, should thus safeguard its highest legal authority, Shen said at a symposium marking Constitution Day at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Some 500 cross-sector representatives in Hong Kong, including about 300 secondary school students, attended.
"One country" is the basis of "two systems", he said. Under "one country", the national Constitution is the country's fundamental and supreme law, and it is valid in all territories in the country, including the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, he said.
He said the Constitution provides a direct basis for the implementation of "one country, two systems" and the Basic Law, Hong Kong's constitutional document. The Basic Law's validity is enshrined in the Constitution, Shen said, and the Basic Law is the legalization and institutionalization of "one country, two systems".
Both the Constitution and the Basic Law constitute the constitutional basis of the HKSAR, Shen said.
"It's incomplete and inaccurate to speak about only one of them or to separate the two. It's not in line with the actual situation after Hong Kong's return to the motherland," Shen said.
It's necessary to comprehend the Constitution, and its relationship with the Basic Law, in order to safeguard the HKSAR's constitutional basis and implement the "one country, two systems" principle in a comprehensive and accurate manner, Shen said.
Shen stressed that any acts that undermine national security and national sovereignty, or challenge the authority of the central government and the Basic Law, would touch the bottom line and will not be tolerated.
Shen said he hoped Constitution Day could lay a foundation for Hong Kong to continue its effort in promoting the Constitution and the Basic Law, further strengthening the awareness of people in Hong Kong, especially public officers.
HKSAR Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said the Constitution and the Basic Law provide a legal basis for the country's basic policies on Hong Kong affairs, laying the cornerstones for Hong Kong's prosperity and stability.
The HKSAR government has absolute responsibility to guide Hong Kong citizens to a comprehensive understanding of the Constitution and the Basic Law, she said.
Wang Zhimin, director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR, said Hong Kong should firmly safeguard the constitutional order based on the Constitution and the Basic Law, and proactively learn about the two laws. That will help both Hong Kong and the nation in future development.
Ng Wai-nam, 14, a third-year student at Chiu Lut Sau Memorial Secondary School in Hong Kong, said he found the symposium useful. He said he learned that the Constitution and the Basic Law are closely related, without any contradictions.