Former CE condemns misinformation on HK
Updated: 2019-11-29 07:36
Leung slams foreign and local opposition politicians for spreading lies about SAR's 'high-degree autonomy', Beijing's legitimate role
Former Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying on Thursday accused foreign and local opposition politicians of distorting the city's "high-degree autonomy" under the "one country, two systems" principle and spreading misconceptions that the central government "abuses" human rights in the SAR.
Leung made the remarks during a luncheon at the Foreign Correspondents' Club, hours after United States President Donald Trump signed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act into law - despite strong opposition from China.
Leung cited the example of Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the US House of Representatives, who claimed on Nov 21 that China had denied giving Hong Kong "full autonomy" as promised. Leung stressed the claim was wrong and ignored the "high-degree of autonomy" that China has long provided Hong Kong.
Under the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the National People's Congress authorizes the HKSAR to exercise a high degree of autonomy and to enjoy independent executive, legislative and judicial power.
But the Central People's Government is responsible for foreign affairs and defense of the HKSAR and also appointing the chief executive and principal officials.
"I just can't imagine that someone of her seniority on a matter as important as this could have said on record that 'Hong Kong should have been given full autonomy', and 'China denied it'," said Leung.
Pelosi made the wrong statements while giving a speech at a ceremony for the Hong Kong related bills. The US congressmen who voted for the act were not fully or correctly informed, said Leung.
The former CE also condemned the opposition camp for undermining the central government's authority over the SAR by trying to deny Beijing's legitimate role in Hong Kong's political system - especially in electing the city's leader.
Such extreme ideas, which were heard in the illegal 2014 "Occupy Central" movement and in the "five demands" raised by anti-government rioters during the months-long social unrest, really have the "intended purpose of secession", Leung stressed.
Like universal suffrage, also advocated by the opposition camp, Leung said, this was really aimed at electing and appointing a CE without Beijing's approval.
But they had ignored the fact that Hong Kong is not a country, he said.
"We could have a process that does not involve Beijing, and that will produce a chief executive who has powers similar to a mayor, or we could have the process that is prescribed in the Basic Law which gives Hong Kong a high degree of autonomy, but with Beijing exercising its authority," the former CE said.
In closing his speech, Leung, who is also the vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, said if the opposition camp and the West stop undermining the "one country, two systems" principle, he does not see any reason for the central government to drop the principle in 2047. This is the year when the "50 years unchanged" provision for Hong Kong's capitalist system and way of life will end.
(HK Edition 11/29/2019 page4)