Wang Zhenmin, the legal chief for the China Liaison Office, has said that Hong Kong is part of “red China.”

At an event celebrating National Constitution Day on Monday – the first commemoration of the day in Hong Kong – Wang, an official for Beijing’s office in Hong Kong, said: “Since July 1, 1997, Hong Kong’s political colour undoubtedly became red, meaning it has become part of red China.”

“So there is no question of whether Hong Kong is ‘becoming red’ because Hong Kong has already been red since 1997, when it came under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party,” he said.

Wang Zhenmin. File

Wang was referring to a local colloquialism, “reddening” – also known as “mainlandisation” – referring to the growing influence of mainland China on Hong Kong’s politics and culture.

He also sought to counter those who accept that Hong Kong has been returned to the motherland but reject the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party. The Communist Party and China cannot be separated as the country was built by the party, he said. He added that the fates of Hong Kong, the motherland and the Communist Party were closely intertwined.

Wang Zhimin. Photo: Liaison Office.

According to Wang, there will be no Basic Law without the national constitution, and at the centre of the constitution is the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party. He also said that the One Country, Two Systems concept was proposed by the Communist Party. Wang criticised those who were trying to sever the “blood relationship” between the Basic Law and the national constitution.

Wang echoed comments made by Liaison Office director Wang Zhimin, who wrote a post on Sunday celebrating the occasion. He said that the relationship between the Chinese constitution and the city’s Basic Law is akin to mother and child, as the power of the Basic Law comes from the constitution.

“Rejecting the power of the constitution over Hong Kong is equal to rejecting the power of the Basic Law over Hong Kong. They are of one body and cannot be separated,” the director wrote.

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.