03/30/2015, 00.00
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Beijing "defends" the Hong Kong Basic Law but warns: It may fail

According to a senior Chinese official, the formula "one country, two systems" could be a mistake. For democracy in the former British colony "no need for Beijing to give additional guarantees." The Territory’s residents "have violated the rules, and this does not bring development but social division".

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - Any innovative system can fail, even if the principle of "one country, two systems" as applied to Hong Kong "will be a success." However, "it is important that the facts would provide the answer". These were the unprecedented statements voiced by the chairman of the Legislative Affairs Commission under the National People's Congress Standing Committee  Zhang Rongshun. The senior official participated in a symposium in Beijing for the 25th anniversary of the promulgation of the Basic Law, the "mini-constitution" of the former British colony.

Zhang reminded the audience of the comments made by the late leader Deng Xiaoping, architect of the solution - shared with the British - for the return of the island to the motherland: "When asked about whether his "one country, two systems" idea would work by saying that the facts would provide the answer". Beyond the political fallacies, a source told the South China Morning Post that Zhang’s position "reflected that the central government was fully prepared for the possible failure of the city's political reforms".

The crux of the matter is political reform envisaged by the Basic Law, according to which by 2017 China will have to ensure democratic elections in the Territory. Beijing’s opposition to this development sparked protests in 2014 called "Occupy Central with Peace and Love", a series of peaceful demonstrations calling for respect of the agreements, supported by hundreds of thousands of people, especially young people.

According to Zhao Bo, deputy head of the State Council's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, said violating the Basic Law would get the city nowhere. Some Hongkongers "have forgotten or violated the value of rule of law by destroying public order through illegal and violent actions.  But time has shown that these violations to the Basic Law does not solve problems, even aggravates social divisions".

The same Zhang stressed the "irrational" nature of the protests: "There is no need for Beijing to give additional guarantees. Full democracy in Hong Kong is provided by the Basic Law, and this will be respected by the Chinese government. " In reality, in August 2014, the highest legislative authority of China - the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress - decided that the voters of Hong Kong will be able to choose only from a list of two or three candidates selected by a Commission appointed to choose appoint "the right people to the role”.

The formation of this Commission is to be determined, but certainly it "must be in agreement" with the election commission that already exists and is in fact in the hands of Beijing. Each candidate who intends to run for the role of Chief Executive must obtain at least 50% of the votes of the Commission to be added to the list. According to democracy activists, China will use the Commission to screen unwelcome candidates.

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