Friday, 21 March 2014

Wing: Is "Love China, Love Hong Kong" written in the Basic Law?

Is "Love Country, Love Hong Kong" written in the Basic Law?
Translated by Chen-t'ang 鎮棠, Edited by Karen L., Written by 翼雙飛 (Wing Wing)
Original: http://www.passiontimes.hk/article/03-21-2014/11875/ 



Anti-CSSTA movement participants are occupying the Legislative Yuan with rage, but back in Hong Kong, it is just like a sleepy backwater. I read a piece of news today. Coming as no surprise, when asked about the candidates' qualifications of Chief Executive (CE) in the future, the former Director of HKMAO, LU Ping [Translator's note: Yes, the guy who called Chris Patten as 'a sinner of a thousand years'] said: "A Chinese citizen is still not a genuine patriot if he only loves the rich history and great culture of the motherland, rather than the Socialism-based PRC. A CE must be a patriot, and that, is a clear stipulation in the Basic Law."

Really? I can't help my suspicion. When CCP took over Hong Kong, I went to Cheung Sha Wan Government Office to get "An ABC Guide to the Basic Law". It seems like there's not a word mentioning the CE must have been a patriotSo I went on searching for the original text of the Basic Law, pressed Ctrl + F, and searched '愛國' (Patriotic), but it went - NO RESULTS.

Haha! So great that I didn't fall for that theory - "Patriotic-is-a-must-for-CE". How clever I am knowing to use the searching tool well! But when I was thinking of sharing this huge discovery on Facebook, all of a sudden, something ran through my mind - People mention a lot on the news like "original intent of legislation". Will there be any possibility that other similar descriptions are used instead of '愛國' (Patriotic) in the Basic Law? How embarrassed I will be if my mistake is pointed out! So I gave up on the searching tool and sincerely read the provisions (10As I would probably get if ever I was that serious back in school). And the closest one might be Article 43: "The Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall be accountable to the Central People's Government and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in accordance with the provisions of this law."

But this doesn't seem sensible. "Be accountable to YY in accordance with the provisions of the law XX" doesn't mean "to love YY unconditionally". Parents in Hong Kong shall "be accountable to their children in accordance with the provisions of Guardianship of Minors Ordinance", but that doesn't mean there is an obligation to "love". It isn't rare to see parents who don't love their children, is it? Drivers in Hong Kong have to "be accountable to pedestrians in accordance with the provisions of Road Traffic Ordinance". Don't tell me the drivers are meant to love the pedestrians!

Therefore, there is no "Love China, Love Hong Kong" (愛國愛港, LCLHK) stipulation restricting the CE in the Basic Law. As a matter of fact, it's rather speaking from the perspective of politics than law.

So, where does "CE must be LCLHK" come from? I then googled that, and here are what I found. Besides LU Ping, we have:

"The CE of HK must "love China" and "love Hong Kong". Those who are against the central government cannot take this job." -- QIAO Xiaoyang,  Director of Legal Committee of NPC
ZHANG Dejiang, Chairman of NPCSC, mentioned "One stance, three conformities" for a CE, which includes the requirement of "Love China, Love Hong Kong".
Words by Qiao and Zhang provokes politicians in Hong Kong commenting and discussing the meaning of "Love China, Love Hong Kong" in circles, including Elsie Leung, Rita Fan, Emily Lau, Lee Cheuk-yan etc. I am confused. Why do we have to bother with this? Qiao and Zhang surely are people with certain significance, however, these are no more than their own opinions. At least by now, LCLHK is not written in the law. Isn't Hong Kong a society with the rule of law? It means we enforce the law according to ordinances. How people say and think cannot be the grounds for exercising law. Put it simply: You are on court because you committed parking contravention. The judge cannot simply sentence you heavier just because he thinks that "you look like his ex-girlfriend/ex-wife". What does this mean if Hongkongers started to self-censor themselves as some people said a few words, which have not even become the law? Does Hong Kong follow China's suit, where rule by man overrides rule of law?

(Photo provided by Wing Wing)

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