Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah has said that the Basic Law will be “forever” effective in his opinion and that people need not worry.

Tsang was speaking at a luncheon talk on Wednesday, when he was asked if enterprises need to consider in their business decisions whether the Basic Law will still be in effect after the One Country, Two Systems agreement is set to expire in 2047.

John Tsang. Photo: Gov HK.

“The Basic Law does not say it will only be effective until 2047,” Tsang said. “In my opinion, the effective period is forever, therefore you do not have to worry about that.”

“If we can work out our things today, our future will ‘take care of itself’,” he added.

Recently, Legislative Council president Jasper Tsang Yok-sing and Liberal Party lawmaker James Tien Pei-chun both named John Tsang as a suitable candidate for the Chief Executive race next year.

Chin Wan-kan. Photo: Lingnan University.

Election platform

Article 5 of the Basic Law states that: “The socialist system and policies shall not be practised in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and the previous capitalist system and way of life shall remain unchanged for 50 years.”

Chin Wan-kan, an assistant professor at Lingnan University, has claimed that he will run for a Legislative Council seat in September to promote his idea that the Basic Law should be extended permanently.

Chin is known for his series of books promoting a confederation arrangement between Hong Kong and mainland China. He has suggested that Hong Kong can maintain its autonomy as an independent city-state.

“By ‘permanent extension’ of the Basic Law, we really mean deleting Article 5 which states that Hong Kong remains unchanged for 50 years, thereby turning the Basic Law into a permanent constitution for Hong Kong,” Chin told Passion Times, a website associated with radical pro-democracy group Civic Passion.

“This will serve to protect the autonomous status of Hong Kong. Once this step is achieved, we can gradually work towards a complete overhaul of the Basic Law, changing and adapting individual provisions until the whole thing is fit to serve as a foundation for nation-building for Hong Kong,” he added.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.