CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Sunday, 1 September 2019

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Beijing can’t be challenged Hong Kong told

HONG KONG (UCAN): The one country, two systems principle has always been problematic, variously described as a straight out contradiction or an abstract concept.
But on May 27, when Zhang Dejiang, the coordinator of the National People’s Congress, warned Hong Kong not to confront the central government, the project officer for the Justice and Peace Commission, Jackie Hung Ling-yu, went even further, calling the principle empty words.
Speaking at a symposium to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the implementing of the Basic Law in Beijing, Zhang described the power exercised by the administration in the special administrative region of Hong Kong as delegated by the central government, but not separated from it.
“Under no circumstances should anyone be allowed to challenge the power of the central government in the name of a high degree of autonomy,” Zhang, the third-highest in the pecking order of authority on the mainland, was quoted by the Xinhua News Agency as saying.
Zhang stressed that Hong Kong runs on an executive-led political system, specifically rejecting any notion of a separation of powers or authority in its own right.
Hung commented that it is not the first time officials from Beijing have reminded Hong Kong of the power the central government wields over it.
“The white paper in 2014 has already shown the one country, two systems to be empty words,” she said.
The principle of one country, two systems that has been in effect in Hong Kong since the territory was returned to Chinese sovereignty by Britain in 1997, promises Hong Kong a high degree of autonomy.
However, the white paper released on 31 August 2014 dashed all hopes that the city would ever see an open election for its chief executive.

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