Hong Kong's Catholic leader Bishop Joseph Zen (
Zen described the move as "disrespectful" of Hong Kong's mini-constitution, the Basic Law, and would have a "serious impact" on the rule of law in the former British colony.
Zen, leader of Hong Kong's 250,000 Catholics who include acting Chief Executive Donald Tsang (曾蔭權), attacked the government in a radio interview yesterday.
His remarks came two days after Tsang announced the government is to ask Beijing to interpret the Basic Law to decide if the next Hong Kong leader should serve two or five years.
The decision has sparked widespread criticism and protestors yesterday burnt a draft of the Basic Law outside government offices in a demonstration against the move.
One of the protestors, legislator Emily Lau (
"People find this very, very disturbing," she said.
The National People's Congress in Beijing is expected to rule at the end of this month that the new Chief Executive can only serve out the last two years of Tung's term after he resigned in March.
China is understood to want its favored successor Tsang to serve only a "trial" two year term before a fresh election is held for a five-year term in 2007.
Pro-democracy activists have already begun lodging judicial review cases to seek a verdict from the Hong Kong High Court on whether a two-year term would be constitutional.
A ruling by the National People's Congress would, however, effectively overrule any decision by Hong Kong's High Court and allow the July election to proceed.
Tung Chee-hwa's successor will be chosen by an 800-member largely pro-Beijing election committee. Donald Tsang is expected to be the only serious candidate.
Secretary for Constitutional Affairs Stephen Lam (
He said there was an "urgent need" for China to intervene to avert a constitutional crisis in the former British colony if the legal challenges stalled the succession.
POINT-BLANK RANGE: Reporters and camera people from several outlets say police officers in Minneapolis had fired tear gas and rubber bullets directly at them Multiple journalists on the ground in Minnesota said they were teargassed and subject to other attacks by police on Saturday evening, a day after the widely condemned arrest of a CNN reporter live on air. Los Angeles Times journalist Molly Hennessy-Fiske, who was reporting outside the Fifth Precinct in Minneapolis, said she was with a group of about a dozen journalists when the Minnesota State Patrol “fired tear gas canisters on us at point blank range.” “I was saying: ‘Where do we go?’ They did not tell us where to go. They didn’t direct us. They just fired on us,” she said
For nearly a decade, the UN Security Council has been frequently paralyzed by Russia’s obstinacy over the Syrian crisis. Today, however, it is the US-China rivalry that has infected a growing array of issues, according to officials and diplomats. As recently as 2017, an understanding between Washington and Beijing allowed the UN on three occasions — involving separate sets of economic sanctions — to project international unity in the face of the North Korean nuclear threat. Three years later, the COVID-19 pandemic has seen a ferocious competition erupt between the UN’s two main contributors, prompting UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on May
HISTORIC FLIGHT: The astronauts named their capsule ‘Endeavour,’ after the space shuttle on which they both flew, while Elon Musk said he was overcome with emotion Two veteran NASA astronauts headed for the International Space Station (ISS) yesterday after Elon Musk’s SpaceX on Saturday became the first commercial company to launch a rocket carrying humans into orbit, ushering in a new era in space travel. SpaceX’s two-stage Falcon 9 rocket with astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley aboard blasted off flawlessly in a cloud of bright orange flames and smoke from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, for a 19-hour voyage to the space station. “Let’s light this candle,” Hurley, the mission commander, told SpaceX mission control in Hawthorne, California, before liftoff at 3:22pm from NASA’s
INDIA Pride to be preserved The nation would not let its “pride be hurt” in its latest border flare-ups with China, but is determined to settle the dispute through talks, Minister of Defense Rajnath Singh said in a television interview late on Saturday. “Situations arise with China. It has happened before,” Singh said, adding that the government was striving to make sure “tension does not escalate.” The government has turned down US President Donald Trump’s offer to mediate, he said. IRAN Speaker says talks futile Newly elected Parliament Speaker Mohammad-Bagher Ghalibaf yesterday said that any negotiations with the US would be “futile.” The nation’s