The Chinese and Hong Kong governments have agreed to honour the One Country, Two Systems principle and put it in writing in the new notification mechanism after a second round of talks on the subject in Shenzhen. The talk was chaired by the Hong Kong Secretary for Security Lai Ting-kwok and the Chinese Vice Minister of Public Security Chen Zhimin on Thursday.

Lai said in the meeting that according the principle of One Country, Two Systems, “we will work hard to progress, and the work [to improve the mechanism] is hoped for, not only by Hongkongers, but also by residents and family members on the mainland.”

Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok. File

A government spokesman said in a press release published Thursday that “the two sides conducted a comprehensive, in-depth, candid and practical discussion on the reciprocal notification mechanism” and also “reviewed [its] actual operation.”

Under the existing notification mechanism, Hong Kong authorities should be notified by their Guangdong Province counterparts within 14 days when a Hongkonger is detained on the mainland, and vice versa.

Lam Wing-kee. File photo: HKFP.

The talks followed the return of bookseller Lam Wing-kee, who went missing from Shenzhen last year and returned to Hong Kong in June to reveal details of his “kidnapping” and detention. The Hong Kong government only received notification about his detention on the mainland months later.

A suspect involved in a murder at a Tai Po currency exchange was arrested in June and handed over to the Hong Kong police Thursday afternoon. The case was discussed in the first round of talks on June 5.

Lai Tung Kwok at the meeting. Photo: RTHK screencap.

Others who attended Thursday’s talk include representatives from the police, the Customs and Excise department, the Immigration Department, the Independent Commission Against Corruption, and the Department of Justice. Representatives from the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate and the General Administration of Customs were also present at the meeting.

In the first round of talks, both parties agreed to uphold the rule that the other party should be informed within 14 days if their residents are detained for investigation, to inform each other of the crimes in question and summarise the case, as well as to increase the number of notification channels. They also agreed to include more agencies in the talks, including all of Hong Kong’s law enforcing agencies.

Chantal Yuen

Chantal Yuen is a Hong Kong journalist interested in issues dealing with religion and immigration. She majored in German and minored in Middle Eastern studies at Princeton University.