In response to United States Department of State’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices 2016 relaying to the HKSAR, the Hong Kong government made a statement urging foreign governments not to interfere in the internal affairs of the HKSAR.
The report made by the US Department of State criticised the Beijing government of violating the self-governance and independent judiciary system of Hong Kong, and that the bulk of human rights issue in Hong Kong stems from Beijing’s interference. The report highlighted that the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPCSC) of China made an unnecessary interpretation of the Basic Law without the request of the HKSAR government on 7 November 2016, which undermined the ability to deal with Hong Kong’s own issues with the independent judicial system and subsequently led to two elected Legislative Council Members of the opposition losing their seats. The HKSAR government is still in the process of challenging four other councillors’ seats through judicial review.
In response, the HKSAR government cited the Article 158 of the Basic Law, that “the NPCSC has the power to interpret the Basic Law” and its “power of interpretation of the Basic Law is part of the constitutional order of the HKSAR, and is recognised by Hong Kong Courts”.
The response also pointed out that the “oath-taking” in relation to certain Legislative Council Members are ongoing in judiciary proceedings, and that “foreign governments should respect the rule of law and the independent judicial system of Hong Kong” and “they should not interfere in the internal affairs of the HKSAR”.
The US report criticised the current system setup, including the “confirmation form” and the “invalid nominations”, by the HKSAR government for the 2016 Legislative Council election restricted the opportunity for voters to choose their preferred government, even when the election is carried out in a fair and just format. The HKSAR government again responded with the same plea of foreign governments should not interfere with Hong Kong’s internal affairs.
The human rights reports also pointed out that the incident related to the Causeway Bay Bookstore still remains in the minds of many Hong Kongers, and the relevant investigation has been lacking in transparency.
Original Text in Chinese 中文原文: