Wang Zhenmin, the legal chief of the China Liaison Office in Hong Kong, has said that 15 lawmakers treated their oath-taking as a “ceremony of insults.”

Wang attended a seminar in Shenzhen on the recent Basic Law interpretation – which said lawmakers must take oaths accurately, completely and solemnly, or they should be removed from office.

He said 15 lawmakers – even though the contents of their oaths did not involve Hong Kong independence – used the oath-taking as an “opportunity for performance” and as a “ceremony of insults” towards the country, saying that their actions did not pledge loyalty and support the country, reported Apple Daily.

Wang Zhenmin. File Photo: Stand News.

He also said the central government will take measures other than Basic Law interpretation to fight the Hong Kong independence movement, and that Hong Kong government authorities should be responsible for it as well.

He said there were “incomplete parts” of Basic Law Article 104, which states that lawmakers must take oaths “in accordance with the law.”

“It did not explain the legal consequences of not taking oaths in accordance with the law,” he said.

He said the interpretation is binding to the Legislative Council.

“Therefore the Legislative Council should improve local legislation in accordance with the interpretation, and report to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress for review,” he said.

James To and Ted Hui. Photo: Chantal Yuen/HKFP.

The Legislative Council meeting on Wednesday morning was suspended after lawmaker Ted Hui Chi-fung was kicked out because of a protest.

Hui, of the Democratic Party, challenged LegCo president Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen’s decision not to debate the recent Basic Law interpretation by Beijing.

He said he tried to request an adjournment debate motion raised by his party colleague James To Kun-sun, which was rejected by the president.

To said Wang’s comments showed that the debate on the Basic Law interpretation was an “urgent question,” as the qualification of 15 lawmakers may be affected.

“When the whole world – the international community – is discussing Hong Kong’s situation, it is only the Legislative Council, a formal session, [that] is left out,” To said. “It’s total absurdity.”

But president Leung did not allow the debate when the meeting resumed at 1pm. He said the Chief Secretary and Secretary for Justice, among others, already attended a question and answer session on the Basic Law interpretation Wednesday morning.

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.