Image source: EPA
Translator: Qiwang Mingtian Hui Genghao; Reviewer: Wencheng
On September 7, a spokesman for the CCP’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office expressed support for the removal of the statement in the textbook that Hong Kong’s political system belongs to the “separation of powers”, and said that the statement that Hong Kong’s political system is based on the “separation of powers” is wrong and must be corrected. So far, the CCP has officially lifted the veil of shame and put an end to the rule of law in Hong Kong.
Prior to this, Carrie Lam declared on September 1 that the Basic Law stated that Hong Kong is a special administrative region directly under the Central Government. The chief executive is not just the head of the executive organ but also responsible to the Chinese Communist Party. The powers enjoyed by Hong Kong are authorized by the Chinese Communist Party.
She described the “three powers” as each performing their duties, hoping to cooperate with each other and check and balance each other, but in the end, the three agencies are accountable to the Chinese Communist Party through the Chief Executive. She said that unclear situations in the past may have been misunderstood, and some people are deliberately misleading, “The government will clear the source and correct the chaos from today.”
This time the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office’s address and Lin Zheng’s remarks are singing a harmony with each other. First, in mid-August, a number of education publishers in Hong Kong revised the general education textbooks by deleting the words “three branches of government” and replacing them with “the three play the role of checks and balances to prevent excessive concentration of power.” Regarding this, Hong Kong Education Bureau Director Yang Runxiong stated on August 31 that the Basic Law is not a system of separation of powers before or after 1997, and these facts must be explained in textbooks.
This action drew widespread attention from the Hong Kong community. Subsequently, on 1 September, Lin Zheng expressed her full support for Yang Yunxiong’s statement that “a high degree of autonomy does not mean full autonomy”. At this point, Lin Zheng’s administration was forcing Hong Kong to give up the autonomy system of “separation of powers”, and then CCP’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office came forward to confirm it.
But, at the ceremony for the handover of sovereignty in 1997, the press materials distributed by the Hong Kong Government to Chinese and foreign journalists clearly stated that the political system of Hong Kong was formulated in accordance with the principle of “separation of powers”. The powers and functions of the executive, the legislature and the judiciary are clearly defined in the Basic Law. Article 59 of the Basic Law stipulates that the Hong Kong Government shall be the executive authorities; article 64 stipulates that the Hong Kong Government shall be accountable to the Legislative Council; article 73 stipulates that the Legislative Council shall enact, amend or repeal laws; article 80 stipulates that the courts shall exercise judicial power in the HKSAR; and article 85 stipulates that the courts shall be independent in the administration of justice, free from any interference.
According to Professor Joseph Chan of the Department of Politics and Public Administration of the University of Hong Kong, the provisions of the Basic Law of Hong Kong are clearly “separation of powers”, mainly because the executive and legislative powers are decentralized,
The Chief Executive and the Legislative Council are independent of each other in terms of their methods or sources of power, and each is elected or appointed by different methods, while the executive and the legislature have overlapping functions and are not independent of each other. For example, the Chief Executive has the power to refuse to sign bills passed by the Legislative Council, and the Legislative Council has the power to impeach the Chief Executive; on the independence of the judiciary, the courts can also review and check the acts of the executive and the legislature through the judiciary; at the same time, the judges of the Court of Final Appeal and the Chief Judge of the High Court are appointed by the Chief Executive upon the recommendation of an independent commission, and so on. These characteristics all point to Hong Kong’s current “three powers” A “separation of powers” system.
The principle of separation of powers is to avoid excessive concentration of power, which can lead to dictatorship. Democratic constitutional rule is maintained through checks and balances among the legislative, judicial and executive powers. The Legislative Council has vetoed CCP proposals several times in the past few years. For example, in 2015, the globally-anticipated reform proposal for the Hong Kong government’s Chief Executive election was pushed by the CCP authorities but was vetoed by the Legislative Council. This was immediately followed by blatant threats and intimidation from the CCP.
The Hong Kong version of the National Security Law, which came into effect on July 1 this year, also bypasses the Legislative Council by putting it into the Basic Law, which would otherwise be strongly boycotted from the Council. At the same time, Hong Kong’s judicial system is also seen as a thorn in the CCP’s side. On July 24 this year, a man and two women arrested in the first riot case, known as the “Return to China”, were acquitted by the High Court of Hong Kong of the charges of rioting and unlawful assembly. This also indirectly demonstrates the opposition of the judicial system to the “Send China Law” and the support of the “Return to China” protest movement.
After July this year, the CCP used the draconian National Security Law as a basis, and the Hong Kong government used the control of the CCP epidemic as an excuse to arrest citizens participating in the protest movement in Hong Kong, thus attracting international criticism, and at the same time, several Western countries immediately suspended their extradition agreements with Hong Kong. The judicial system, and then take full control of Hong Kong to achieve the goal of stabilizing Hong Kong. At the same time, the protesting democrats and citizens will be “legally” liquidated, and Hong Kong will be completely blood-cleansed so that the voice of democracy will no longer be heard in Hong Kong. Although Hong Kong people have already paid a heavy price for confronting the CCP, Hong Kong’s darkest hour has not yet come, and more and more Hong Kong democrats will be persecuted by the CCP in the future.