Aerial photo taken on July 16, 2020 shows the Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong, south China. (Xinhua/Lui Siu Wai)
Senior officials of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government said Saturday the decision of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) on the qualification of HKSAR Legislative Council (LegCo) members is constitutional, lawful and reasonable.
It will help implement "one country, two systems," safeguard national security, and ensure Hong Kong's long-term peace and stability, they said.
The HKSAR government announced recently that four sixth-term LegCo members including Dennis Kwok were disqualified by the decision adopted by the Standing Committee of the NPC, China's top legislature.
Teresa Cheng, Secretary for Justice of the HKSAR government, said in an online article that the decision has solid legal basis.
The Standing Committee of the NPC has the duty to maintain the constitutional order of the HKSAR and to ensure that members of the LegCo, who continued to discharge their duties in the sixth-term LegCo, must be in compliance with the legal requirements and preconditions for taking up the post of a LegCo member by upholding the Basic Law and pledging allegiance to the HKSAR, Cheng said.
Those advocating or supporting "Hong Kong independence," refusing to recognize China's sovereignty over Hong Kong and the exercise of the sovereignty, soliciting intervention by foreign or external forces, or carrying out other activities endangering national security could not genuinely uphold the Basic Law and swear allegiance to the HKSAR, Cheng noted.
They can neither fulfill the legal requirements and conditions for a LegCo member nor have the qualifications of a LegCo member, she said.
As the nominations of the relevant LegCo members had been invalidated by Returning Officers when they applied to participate in the LegCo election of the seventh term, they are naturally unable to continue to serve as LegCo members, Cheng said.
Secretary for Security of the HKSAR government John Lee expressed full support for the decision in an online article. He said LegCo members as public officers must genuinely uphold the Basic Law and swear allegiance to the HKSAR.
It is the common responsibility of all the people of China, including the people of Hong Kong, to safeguard the sovereignty, unification and territorial integrity of China, Lee cited the law on safeguarding national security in Hong Kong.
Any institution, organization or individual in the HKSAR shall abide by the law on safeguarding national security in Hong Kong and other local laws on safeguarding national security, and shall not engage in any act or activity which endangers national security, Lee added.
The requirement of genuine oaths for public officers is recognized globally and the LegCo members must bear the consequence of violating the legal requirements of their oaths, which is also a basic norm in a society of the rule of law, Lee said.
The NPC decision is constitutional, lawful and reasonable and is fully in line with the Basic Law, Lee said, adding that the decision will help with the implementation of "one country, two systems," ensure Hong Kong's prosperity and stability, and further protect national security and the constitutional order of Hong Kong.