Closer co­op­er­a­tion needed for ‘one coun­try, two sys­tems’

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By ZHOU MO in Shen­zhen sal­lly@chi­nadai­lyhk.com

“One coun­try, two sys­tems” and the Ba­sic Law have en­sured Hong Kong’s ro­bust growth over the past 20 years, but more re­search and co­op­er­a­tion with the Chi­nese main­land are needed to tackle chal­lenges in the process of their im­ple­men­ta­tion, law ex­perts and schol­ars told a sem­i­nar in Shen­zhen on Sun­day.

Hong Kong stands at a new his­tor­i­cal point, play­ing an in­creas­ingly im­por­tant role in the coun­try’s eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment and open­ing up, said Xu Hong, di­rec­tor­gen­eral of the Depart­ment of Treaty and Law at the Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs.

“The ad­van­tage of ‘ one coun­try, two sys­tems’ has been given full play in Hong Kong peo­ple ad­min­is­ter­ing Hong Kong, and a high de­gree of au­ton­omy has also been fully im­ple­mented in the SAR. Hong Kong’s de­vel­op­ment space is be­com­ing wider too,” Xu told the law sem­i­nar, or­ga­nized by the Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs and Shen­zhen Univer­sity to com­mem­o­rate the 20 th an­niver­sary of Hong Kong’s re­turn to the coun­try.

He said ties be­tween Hong Kong and the main­land have been deep­en­ing, with grow­ing ex­changes be­ing made, but chal­lenges have also arisen.

For ex­am­ple, re­gard­ing the ap­pli­ca­ble range of ter­ri­to­ries of a cer­tain bi­lat­eral treaty signed by the cen­tral gov­ern­ment, some for­eign courts have still made false ad­ju­di­ca­tion af­ter the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment con­firmed through a di­plo­matic note that the treaty is not ap­pli­ca­ble to Hong Kong.

That demon­strates a lack of, or an in­ac­cu­rate un­der­stand­ing of the prac­tice and ap­pli­ca­bil­ity in the Hong Kong SAR of treaties signed by the cen­tral gov­ern­ment, Xu said.

“More re­search and stud­ies (on such le­gal is­sues) are needed to cope with the chal­lenges,” he said.

He added that more sup­port from those work­ing in diplo­macy will be pro­vided to Hong Kong to help the city carry out ex­ter­nal ex­changes and co­op­er­a­tion, de­velop it­self into a re­gional le­gal ser­vices and dis­pute set­tle­ment cen­ter and con­sol­i­date its po­si­tion as an in­ter­na­tional fi­nan­cial, trad­ing and ship­ping hub.

Wang Zhen­min, le­gal chief for the Li­ai­son Of­fice of the Cen­tral Peo­ple’s Gov­ern­ment in the Hong Kong Spe­cial Ad­min­is­tra­tive Re­gion, said the Ba­sic Law has pro­vided space for Hong Kong to en­joy unique ad­van­tages from the “two sys­tems” as­pect.

“That the Hong Kong SAR main­tains its par­tic­u­lar­ity in in­ter­na­tional sta­tus is an ef­fec­tive way for the coun­try to ex­pand its in­ter­na­tional in­flu­ence,” Wang said.

But he stressed that the par­tic­u­lar­ity should be based on “one coun­try” and should not break through the realm of Chi­nese sovereignty.

Elsie Le­ung Oi-sie, deputy di­rec­tor of the Hong Kong Ba­sic Law Com­mit­tee un­der the Stand­ing Com­mit­tee of the Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress (NPC), said that, over the past two decades, some obli­ga­tions pre­scribed in the Ba­sic Law have not been ful­filled, for ex­am­ple, how to ex­er­cise the NPC’s su­per­vi­sion rights over the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Ba­sic Law in Hong Kong.

“With the de­vel­op­ment of ‘one coun­try, two sys­tems’ and deep­en­ing im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Ba­sic Law, new prob­lems are emerg­ing. That

With the de­vel­op­ment of ‘one coun­try, two sys­tems’ and deep­en­ing im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Ba­sic Law, new prob­lems are emerg­ing. That re­quires us to de­velop a sound the­o­ret­i­cal sys­tem that could lead and guide us to solve the prob­lems.” Elsie Le­ung Oi-sie, deputy di­rec­tor of the Hong Kong Ba­sic Law Com­mit­tee un­der the Stand­ing Com­mit­tee of the Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress

re­quires us to de­velop a sound the­o­ret­i­cal sys­tem that could lead and guide us to solve the prob­lems,” she said.

She urged Hong Kong and the main­land to work to­gether to strengthen re­search on the the­o­ret­i­cal sys­tem and the prac­tice of the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Ba­sic Law.

YU ZONGMING / XIN­HUA

A fire­fighter dowses burn­ing branches on Sun­day morn­ing af­ter light­ning caused a for­est blaze in Man­gui, In­ner Mon­go­lia au­ton­o­mous re­gion. The fire, which broke out on Thurs­day, en­gulfed 1,500 hectares and spread over into neigh­bor­ing Hei­longjiang prov­ince be­fore be­ing ex­tin­guished on Satur­day night. The for­est is part of the Greater Hing­gan Moun­tains.

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