Hong Kong’s coadjutor bishop regrets Beijing’s intervention on the Basic Law
Following his appointment, Card John Tong’s successor talks about human rights and the dialogue between China and the Vatican at the press conference. He expresses his high esteem for Card Joseph Zen. Hong Kong’s High Court follows Beijing and expels two localist lawmakers from the legislature.
Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – Hong Kong’s newly appointed Coadjutor Bishop Michael Yeung, with the right of succession, expressed his regret over the interpretation of the Basic Law, the territory’s constitution, given by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress. Although the NPC exercised its constitutional right, Bishop Yeung doubted if it was necessary to exercise it.
On 6 November the committee expelled two young parliamentarians for failing to take the oath of office at the inaugural session of Hong Kong’s Legislative Council (LegCo), which include words of allegiance to China.
The two young lawmakers, Sixtus Baggio Leung and Yau Wai-ching, who won a seat each in the last election, belong to the so-called localist group that seeks greater autonomy if not outright independence for Hong Kong.
At yesterday's press conference, which followed his appointment, Mgr Yueng said that Hong Kong’s independence is “absolutely impossible” and “unfeasible”.
He added that he was born in China (Shanghai), and is of Chinese blood; his parents were Chinese, and he loves Chinese culture, so he would not deny that he is a Chinese.
Speaking about the progress in Sino-Vatican relations, he said that the two sides are engaged in dialogue, and that the Holy See is optimistic and feels positive about the talks.
China is a huge country with many issues. Results cannot be reached quickly, including human rights, which is a matter of concern. Relationships must be developed step by step, he said.
Asked whether he would act like Bishop Emeritus Card Joseph Zen of Hong Kong and take to the streets, Bishop Yeung said he could not have the wisdom of Cardinal Zen.
The prelate stressed that not joining public demonstrations does not necessarily mean one agrees in certain matters or viewpoints. He said he hopes to maintain more channels of dialogue and communication.
Meanwhile, the High Court of Hong Kong ruled today that two young legislators, Sixtus Leung and Yau Wai-ching, must be disqualified as they failed to take a valid oath of office of the Legislative Council.
The ruling came after the NPC interpreted the Basic Law over the matter on 4 November. The judge hearing the case noted that he would have reached the same conclusion with or without the PNC’s interpretation.
The judge said that the manner in which the two took the oath showed “objectively and clearly that they did not truthfully and faithfully intend" to commit themselves to upholding the Basic Law and swearing allegiance to the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong.