Chief Executive Carrie Lam has said she cannot offer guarantees that people would not be prosecuted in the future for calling for an end to one-party rule in mainland China.

China Liaison Office Director Wang Zhimin said on Monday at the Legislative Council that it was incorrect to say that China was a “one-party dictatorship” since it was not mentioned in the Chinese constitution. He added that China is a socialist state of the dictatorship of the proletariat.

Lam was asked ahead of the weekly Executive Council meeting whether she can ensure that there will not be legal consequences for people who chant the slogan, and whether they would be seen as advocates of Hong Kong independence.

Carrie Lam
Carrie Lam. Photo: GovHK.

The call to “end one-party dictatorship” is regularly made by many pro-democracy figures at the annual Tiananmen massacre candlelight vigil in Hong Kong.

Lam said that it is difficult for her to predict the future and make promises. She said matters should be viewed using legal basis and factual evidence.

“I cannot give a solid promise or answer on the consequences for chanting the slogan. Every matter in Hong Kong should be dealt with in accordance with the law,” Lam said.

She said Wang had already said that “one-party dictatorship” does not exist in the Chinese constitution.

“Director Wang Zhimin is much more familiar with the constitution compared to me, so he has made his response yesterday,” she said. “Is ‘one-party dictatorship’ correct? Director Wang said that there is no such statement in the constitution.”

Wang Zhimin
Wang Zhimin. Photo: Liaison Office.

Last month, Tam Yiu-chung, a newly-appointed member of China’s top legislative body, said that candidates may be barred from running for seats in Hong Kong’s Legislative Council for calling for an end to China’s “one-party dictatorship.”

Huang Liuquan, deputy director of Beijing’s Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office, was also quoted earlier this month as denying that there was a “one-party dictatorship” in China.

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.