Beijing’s top legislative body is to announce Friday afternoon the incorporation of an interpretation of the Basic Law into its meeting agenda, said pro-establishment lawmaker Michael Tien Puk-sun on Commercial Radio Friday morning.

Tien is also a Hong Kong deputy of the National People’s Congress. The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPCSC) meetings are currently taking place.

NPC chamber
NPC chambers in the Great Hall of the People, Beijing. Photo: China Daily.

Local media cited sources on Tuesday night saying that Beijing was looking into issuing an interpretation in order to bar two localist lawmakers, Yau Wai-ching and Baggio Leung Chung-hang, from retaking their oaths. The Hong Kong government is also currently seeking an order from the court to bar the two from the Legislative Council.

Yau and Leung’s oaths were deemed invalid in October as they took them while carrying a flag stating “Hong Kong is not China” and pronouncing the word China as “Chee-na,” which is considered derogatory.

Michael Tien Puk-sun. File
Michael Tien Puk-sun. File

See also: Gov’t argues in court that Youngspiration duo ‘declined’ to take their oaths as lawmakers

“There will be an announcement to confirm its incorporation into the agenda,” said Tien of the interpretation, “and the incorporation [means] they will be discussing it on Saturday and Sunday,” said Tien. He said that they will make a decision on Monday.

“If they put it on the agenda, then it is for real,” he added.

li fei
Li Fei. File

When asked why the announcement was so late, Tien said that “if the central government wants to interpret the law, they need to consult the Basic Law Committee,” and members of the committee had not arrived for the meeting until recently.

Tien also said that Li Fei, the chairman of the Basic Law Committee, or others will definitely come to Hong Kong to explain their decision, “especially this time when the procedure or method is so unprecedented.”

‘Unity of the country’

Basic Law Committee Member Maria Tam Wa-chu also said on Friday that the NPCSC chairman Zhang Dejiang had requested the interpretation of Basic Law Article 104 because this was related to the unity of the country.

Maria Tam
Maria Tam Wai-chu. Photo: GovHK.

Article 104 of the Basic Law says that “the Chief Executive, principal officials, members of the Executive Council and of the Legislative Council, judges of the courts at all levels and other members of the judiciary in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region must, in accordance with law, swear to uphold the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China and swear allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China.”

Sing Tao’s front page cited a “credible source” on Friday confirming the news.

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.