Beijing officials should give fewer unnecessary warnings to Hong Kong, former Legislative Council president Jasper Tsang has said.

In his AM730 newspaper column, Tsang quoted Chinese President Xi Jinping as saying that China will ensure that the principle will remain unchanged, is unswervingly upheld, and in practice, is not bent or distorted. He added that only the central government has the power to shake the “One Country, Two Systems” principle.

Jasper Tsang. File photo: Hong Kong Vision.

Tsang wrote: “Even if Hong Kong or foreign political powers try to oppose or harm the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ principle, it is impossible for them to change or to shake it – not to mention for common Hongkongers.”

He said most Hong Kong people would want the principle to remain in its promised form.

“But some officials in charge of Hong Kong and Macau affairs were discontented about some situations in Hong Kong, and gave warnings saying that if it does not implement the ‘One Country, Two System’ principle and Hong Kong loses everything, the country itself will not lose much,” Tsang wrote, without mentioning names.

“As such comments are frequent, it is not surprising for some to be worried that the central government has lost its patience in handling the issue of Hong Kong, and [supspect that] it has lost its confidence in ‘Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong,’ changing its original intentions in the ‘One Country, Two System’ principle,” he added.

“But after Xi Jinping gives his assurance, officials below him should not talk about things like scrapping the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ principle again.”

Xi Jinping. File photo: UKGov.

Tsang said some of Hong Kong’s issues are old. He gave examples of “some anti-China anti-Communist media, some scholars who make absurd arguments, some judges who show ignorance of the times.”

He cited former Chinese official Li Ruihuan, who compared the issues to stains in a teapot which should be retained, saying that otherwise, the teapot will not be able to make the same tea.

Tsang added that some issues were caused by controversies such as Beijing’s Basic Law interpretation, national education, constitutional development, and the joint checkpoint arrangement, and that they are unavoidable in the implementation of the principle.

“We can only ensure that the ‘One Country, Two System’ principle is not bent or distorted if we handle these issues correctly,” he wrote.


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.