Al­le­giance re­quired to take Hong Kong of­fice

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By LUIS LIU in Hong Kong luis­liu@chi­nadai­lyhk.com

Of­fi­cials and law­mak­ers in Hong Kong must pledge with sin­cer­ity their loy­alty to the Ba­sic Law, or Hong Kong’s mini-con­sti­tu­tion, be­fore they can as­sume of­fice, the top leg­is­la­ture said on Mon­day.

The re­quire­ment ap­plies to all high-level pub­lic ad­min­is­tra­tors, law­mak­ers and judges in Hong Kong, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress Stand­ing Com­mit­tee in its in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the Ba­sic Law.

The clar­i­fi­ca­tion of of­fi­cials’ oath­tak­ing pro­ce­dure for Hong Kong came af­ter the be­hav­ior of a few newly elected law­mak­ers dur­ing their swear­ing-in on Oct 12 was crit­i­cized as im­proper.

Two newly elected law­mak­ers who took a sep­a­ratist stand were seen on a live tele­vi­sion broad­cast to have al­tered their oaths and to have made obscene re­marks about the na­tion.

The NPC Stand­ing Com­mit­tee’s Ba­sic Law in­ter­pre­ta­tion is ex­pected to of­fer le­gal grounds to Hong Kong’s High Court in a ju­di­cial re­view sub­mit­ted by the Hong Kong govern­ment over the pair’s dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion as mem­bers of the lo­cal Leg­isla­tive Coun­cil.

The na­tional leg­is­la­ture is “deeply con­cerned” about the harm that the pro-in­de­pen­dence ad­vo­cacy has had on Hong Kong and the na­tion as a whole, said Li Fei, deputy sec­re­tary­gen­eral of the NPC Stand­ing Com­mit­tee and chair­man of its Ba­sic Law Com­mit­tee.

Zhang De­jiang, chair­man of the NPC Stand­ing Com­mit­tee, said adop­tion of the Ba­sic Law in­ter­pre­ta­tion show­cases the cen­tral govern­ment’s firm op­po­si­tion to “Hong Kong in­de­pen­dence”.

The in­ter­pre­ta­tion was made re­gard­ing Ar­ti­cle 104 of

the Ba­sic Law, which stip­u­lates that when as­sum­ing of­fice, all se­nior of­fi­cials of the ex­ec­u­tive branch,The mem­bers­first uni­sexof the pub­lic leg­isla­tive bath­room coun­cil, in and Shang­hai,all judges and which mem­ber­saims to of helpthe ju­di­cia­ryre­duce in wait­ing Hong times Kong for should such “swear­fa­cil­i­ties, to up­hold es­pe­cial­lythe Ba­sic for Law women,of the Hong­has re­ceivedKong Spe­cialmixed re­ac­tions. Ad­min­is­tra­tive Male Re­gionusers ap­proache­dof the Peo­ple’sby Repub­licChina Dai­lyof China were and gen­er­ally swear al­le­giance agree­able to with the Hong hav­ing Kongto SAR share of the the space, Peo­ple’s while Repub­lic­women of China”. formed the ma­jor­ity of those Ac­cord­ing against to the the idea, in­ter­pre­ta­tion,cit­ing safety and “to pri­vacy up­hold con­cerns.the Ba­sic Law” Sched­uledand to to swear open “al­le­gianceon World to Toi­let­the HongDay on Kong Nov SAR19, of the the bath­room Peo­ple’s has Repub­lic10 uni­sex of China” cu­bi­cles. are not only part of the “I Ba­s­ic­can ac­cept Law’s it,” con­tent,said Dong but also Xiang­bin, con­cretea Shang­hai re­quire­mentsres­i­dent and pre­con­di­tion­sin his 30s. “It has spec­i­fied­doors in and the the ar­ti­cle par­ti­tions­for standin­gare made for elec­tionus­ing stone and in­stead tak­ing of pub­lic­glass, of­fice.so I’m OK with it.”

The Feng in­ter­pre­ta­tionMin, 23, said, stressed“I will tha­tuse it the dur­ing swear­ing-inthe day­time,is the “legal­but def­i­nitely pre­req­ui­site”not fo­rat night, pub­lic of­fi­cials be­cause to I think as­sumeit is of­fice.too dan­ger­ous.” No pub­lic of­fice shall be as­sumed, no Also, cor­re­spondingif the cu­bi­cles pow­ers are and­not func­tions sound­proof, shall it’s be go­ing ex­er­cised,to be and awk­wardno cor­re­spond­ing­for both par­ties en­ti­tle­ments be­cause of shallthe noisebe en­joyed gen­er­at­ing by any­one when who peo­ple fails useto law­ful­lythe toi­let, and she validly added. take the oath or who Liu de­clines Fang, to 26, take saidthe oath,she it wouldn’t spec­i­fies. use the fa­cil­ity un­lessIt also she clar­i­fies tak­ers must take the oath “sin­cerely and solemnly”, read­ing can’t out ac­cept­the oathit. I “ac­cu­rately,pre­fer the tra­di­tional com­pletely ones.” and solemnly”. One Lo­cat­ed­will be at dis­qual­i­fiedthe in­ter­sec­tion from of as­sum­ing Zhangji­a­bang­pub­lic of­fice Road if he and or Southshe de­clines Pudongto take Road, the oath,the pub­lic­the in­ter­pre­ta­tion­bath­room also said. has a sep­a­rateLi stressed men-on­lythat the area Na­tion­alfea­tur­ing Peo­ple’s four Congress uri­nals, Standin­gand an­other Com­mit­tee’s space in­ter­pre­ta­tion­al­lo­cated for of peo­plethe Ba­sic with Law dis­abil­i­tiesis also a and con­sti­tu­tional those with chil­dren. com­po­nent of the city’s Users le­gal have sys­tem.to go By through do­ing theso, samethe NPCSC door­way help­sto ac­cess Hong the Kong re­stroom,courts to while im­ple­ment­the stone the par­ti­tion­slaws, Li said. be­tween the cu­bi­cles Ar­ti­cleare 2.3 158 me­ter­sof the high Ba­si­cand thereLaw says are thatno gaps “the be­tween­power of the in­ter­pre­ta­tion­floor and the of door. the Ba­sic Law “Or­di­naryshould be re­stroomsvested in use the clap­boards,NPCSC”. but our par­ti­tions The are Hong made Kon­gof ce­ment,” govern­ment said Shen wel­comedYue, the the re­stroom ac­tion. su­per­vi­sor.The SAR’s “This chief ex­ec­u­tive,bath­room is Le­ung bet­ter Chun-ying,than the con­ven­tional em­pha­sized ones,that Hong be­cause Kon­git’s mor­eis an spa­cious in­alien­able and part thereof Chi­naare also and pot­tedthat all plants.”Hong Kong res­i­dents have Author­i­ti­es­the re­spon­si­bil­i­ty­said that to they safe­guard will eval­u­ate sovereignty,the re­sponse na­tion­alto the bath­room be­fore se­cu­rity and in­tegrity de­cidin­gof the whether coun­try. to open it around the clock The or Hong build more in Kong Leg­isla­tivethe city. Coun­cil’s pres­i­dent, An­drew Wen-Weny­iLe­ung Kwan-yuen, con­trib­uted also to sup­ported this story. the in­ter­pre­ta­tion and said he ex­pected the coun­cil to re­sume nor­mal op­er­a­tions af­ter the High Court hands down an ex­pe­dited judg­ment based on the in­ter­pre­ta­tion.

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