Passage of the Hong Kong national security legislation by China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee is regrettable, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) said in a statement yesterday.
Through the legislation, Beijing has strongly demonstrated its adherence to the “one country” part of “one country, two systems,” but has “severely compressed” the spirit of “two systems,” which is key to maintaining Hong Kong’s development, the party said.
Passage of the legislation would inevitably add greater uncertainty to Hong Kong’s future, it added.
Photo: Chu Pei-hsiung, Taipei Times
The “characteristics of Hong Kong’s development” and its residents’ “space for autonomy” should not be sacrificed just for political reasons, it said.
Beijing should exercise “wisdom” and “self-restraint,” it said, adding that the Chinese government should not intervene in the legislation’s enforcement or interfere with the independence of the territory’s judiciary.
Hong Kong’s legislative and judicial bodies should “firmly defend Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy, [and] uphold the tradition of freedom,” it said.
Given that the legislation covers offenses committed against Hong Kong by people outside the territory who do not possess permanent Hong Kong residency, the Democratic Progressive Party government should “exhaust all possibilities to guarantee the basic rights and personal safety of Taiwanese,” it said.
The development of “one country, two systems” in Hong Kong has “proven the excellence of the Republic of China’s democratic constitutional system,” and its value to Taiwan, the KMT said.
Beijing should recognize that “one country, two systems” has “no market in Taiwan and that the Republic of China has existed internationally for 109 years,” the KMT said, adding that Beijing should handle disputes over sovereignty across the Taiwan Strait peacefully and through peer-to-peer discussion.
At the weekly meeting of the party’s Central Standing Committee later in the day, KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) said that the best way to rebuild the “fragile foundation of mutual trust” between Hong Kong and China was for Beijing to return the power to enact national security legislation to Hong Kong, and to “respect the high degree of autonomy of Hong Kong’s judiciary.”
The party opposes that the law expands its jurisdiction to offenses committed against Hong Kong from outside the territory by people who do not possess permanent Hong Kong residency, he said.
He called on President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration to adopt a “pragmatic” and “effective” approach to assisting Hong Kongers, rather than “mere slogans.”
The KMT cannot accept Chinese President Xi Jinping’s (習近平) proposal of a “one country, two systems” model in Taiwan, Chiang said.
“Today’s Hong Kong will not become tomorrow’s Taiwan,” he added.
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