The Basic Law interpretation handed down by Beijing will not affect rule of law, nor will it affect investors’ confidence, said Secretary of Finance John Tsang on Friday morning. He was speaking to the media at the airport after returning from a visit to the Middle East.

Beijing handed down an interpretation of Basic Law Article 104 on Monday regarding oath-taking, saying that oaths must be taken “accurately, completely and solemnly.”

John Tsang. Photo: RTHK screenshot.

“There are some people who have said that they are worried that interpretation will affect the rule of law, or even the confidence of foreign investors in Hong Kong. I believe that this will not happen,” said Tsang. “After the law was interpreted, the spirit of rule of law and the judicial system were, overall, not very affected. I believe… the overall economy will also not be very affected.”

Photo: HKFP.

Tsang also said that the interpretation “can let the public know more clearly the meaning and content [of Article 104].” Interpretation exists as part of the legal system in Hong Kong and will continue to exist, he said, adding that “the Hong Kong government will earnestly execute the decision of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee.”

On the prospect of more judicial reviews against figures in public office over their oath-taking, he said that he would wait for the courts to make a decision.

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.