Elsie Leung: Beijing has comprehensive jurisdiction in Hong Kong

Elsie Leung: Beijing has comprehensive jurisdiction in Hong Kong

(Image Source: Screen Capture from RTHK)

Deputy director of the HKsar Basic Law Committee Elsie Leung, during her interview with RTHK, stated that Beijing has "comprehensive jurisdiction" over Hong Kong, accusing people of not understanding the Basic Law when they say that Beijing has overstepped its authority and damaging the "one country, two systems" policy. She also stated that Article 23 of the Basic Law should not be seen as a "draconian / unjust law"; instead, it is Hong Kong's obligation to legislate for it and that Beijing has considered Hong Kong situation by allowing Hong Kong to enact Article 23 on its own, separate from China's national security laws.

Elsie Leung said that twenty years after Hong Kong "returned" to china, there are still some people who has yet to recognize that Beijing has comprehensive jurisdiction over Hong Kong, asking "why so long, after "returning" for twenty years, there are still people who says that, other than national defense and foreign relations, the chinese central government has no power over everything else?" She pointed out that the Basic Law clear stated that the Hong Kong SAR is directly under the chinese central government's jurisdiction, saying "if that is not comprehensive control, then what is it?"

Leung also claimed it is only under the comprehensive jurisdiction principle that executive, legislative and judicial powers were granted to the Hong Kong SAR to exercise with high degree autonomy according to the Basic Law, saying "so often people don't have a proper understanding of the Basic Law, saying that the central government has overstepped its bounds and damaging the 'one country, two systems' policy." Therefore, Elsie Leung believes, when the chinese president Xi Jinping raised that the "one country, two systems" policy should remain "unchanged and unaltered", it is a reminder to Hong Kongers that high degree of autonomy is not complete independence.

Elsie Leung also criticised Hong Kong society for lacking an open mind towards anything new, believing the Basic Law to be brainwashing propaganda whenever it is brought up, agreeing to the need to step up the promotion of education in the Basic Law. In regards to the interpretation of the Basic Law, Leung believes there is no need to fear it becoming regularised, as there was only five occasions in the twenty years since Hong Kong's "return" to china.  She pointed out that interpretation of the Basic Law is just new constitutional provisions and should not be rejected, for it would affect the implementation of the "one country, two systems" policy otherwise.

When Article 23 of the Basic Law was brought up, Elsie Leung pointed out that other than sheer volume of content and revisions in the drafting which made it difficult for people to digest, there was also the SARS outbreak, which did not facilitate sufficient time for public consultations; coupled with Hong Kongers' dissatisfaction with the government at the time, which led to the first First of July protest march, and some political parties supporting the shelving of the proposed legislation, Article 23 failed to be legislated. She also said that china's ministry of national security fully understands its national security laws, where expression of views was sufficient grounds for indictment in the past, realises and considered Hong Kong's situation, which was why Beijing allowed Hong Kong to legislate on its own, hence Article 23 should not be regarded as "draconian / unjust".
As for the "Causeway Bay Bookstore" incident, Leung said that if the person involved admits that he went to china on his own accord, both sides should consider establishing an extradition agreement in order to avoid having such an incident from happening again. She also said that if the "Causeway Bay Bookstore incident" was to happen in the past, no one would have known that it had occurred, so the incident demonstrated society is more transparent now than before.