Friday, 29 December 2017

Safeguard Hong Kong

A blurry picture of a banner that says "Safeguard Hong Kong" on Lion Rock
The hiking activists are at it again.

This morning a yellow banner appeared on Lion Rock in Kowloon with the words "Safeguard Hong Kong" on it.

However, it wasn't anchored properly so it was flapping in the wind.

Police were alerted of the banner at 7.30am and by 11am they had successfully removed it, though it is unknown who put it there and for what reason.

How the Hong Kong rail station would work
However, it is believed the banner is related to the controversy over the Chinese government's state council's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office (HKMAO) insisting that the city must implement the joint checkpoint at the cross-border rail link being built to connect with Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

The National People's Congress Standing Committee has already authorized a plan where mainland Chinese officials would enforce national laws as part of the West Kowloon station.

"[Authorities] on the mainland and in Hong Kong must execute [the NPCSC's] decision," a HKMAO spokesman said to Xinhua news agency.

The NPCSC's decision was described as "an important constitutional judgment that cannot be challenged" and is in line with Hong Kong's Basic Law, according to a top Beijing expert on the mini constitution.

However, the Hong Kong Bar Association was "appalled" by the decision, saying the move was the most retrograde step since 1997, with the Basic Law being "irreparably breached" and the rule of law "severely" undermined.

The rail-link in West Kowloon is under construction
The association added the decision regarding the co-location agreement of having mainland authorities exercising mainland laws in Hong Kong territory was not supported by any provisions in the Basic Law.

"This plainly amounts to an announcement by the NPCSC that the cooperation agreement complies with the constitution and the Basic Law 'just because the NPCSC says so", the association's statement said.

"Such an unprecedented move is the most retrograde step to date in the implementation of the Basic Law and severely undermines public confidence in 'one country, two systems' and the rule of law in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region."

What is Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor going to do about this? So far she hasn't said much, which means she is complicit to her Beijing masters.

Again Hong Kong people and institutions are left having to defend the city again. It is appalling that the Basic Law isn't even respected by Beijing and instead it keeps changing the goal posts whenever it needs to keep its advantage.

Is there any legal way of challenging the NPCSC's decision? Or are we left to silently accept this latest announcement?

Yet another issue to protest about come July 1, 2018.

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