close
This ad will auto close in 10 seconds

Hong Kong leader plays down comments by top Beijing official

Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying said on Tuesday some people had misunderstood controversial comments by Beijing`s top representative in the Chinese-ruled city that the chief executive was above the law.



Hong Kong: Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying said on Tuesday some people had misunderstood controversial comments by Beijing`s top representative in the Chinese-ruled city that the chief executive was above the law.

Zhang Xiaoming, the head of Beijing`s Liaison Office in Hong Kong, said at the weekend Leung enjoys a special legal position that puts him above the legislature and judiciary in the former British colony.

His remarks drew criticism from democrats who accused Beijing of changing the status of the chief executive. Hong Kong lawyers said the comments had sparked fears about the city`s rule of law and were "regrettable".

Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997 under a "one country, two systems" framework that gives it separate laws and an independent judiciary but reserves ultimate authority for Beijing.

Leung played down Zhang`s comments and criticised the "misleading" reactions to the speech. 

"I reaffirm that Hong Kong`s judiciary is independent. It is our rule of law, the tradition of rule of law and is a key element in the operation of the rule of law," Leung told reporters.

Zhang`s comments came two weeks ahead of the first anniversary of last year`s pro-democracy Occupy movement in Hong Kong that kicked off more than two months of street protests that paralysed parts of the city. 

Questions about the extent of mainland control have been hotly debated, particularly since last year`s protests aimed at securing open nominations for the election of Hong Kong`s next chief executive in 2017. China says it will allow a free vote, but only from pre-screened candidates.

Fears that Beijing is tightening its control were heightened in June last year when the central government published an unprecedented cabinet-level white paper that bluntly reminded Hong Kong that China holds supreme authority over it.

From Zee News

0 Comment - Join the Discussions

trending

photo gallery

video


WION FEATURES

K8 Plus: Lenovo's new phone available @ Rs 10,999

Heavy security outside Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters in Sirsa as search operation begins

WATCH Exclusive: After Doklam standoff, India begins road construction near LAC

Hurricane Irma, rampaging through Caribbean, is most enduring super-storm on record

Three train derailments in 1 day, fourth accident narrowly-averted

China says Indian Army chief's views contrary to those expressed by Modi, Xi