Busted! Hong Kong Gov’t Meddles With Basic Law Facts

December 18, 2014 Updated: December 18, 2014

The Hong Kong government should make Santa’s “naughty” list this Christmas with their latest bit of mischief.

Webb-site Reports, a news, opinion, and analysis website that focuses on Hong Kong matters, reveals that the Hong Kong government recently made some small but crucial changes to the Basic Law fact sheet.

In explaining the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s mini-constitution and a product of the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration, the 2014 fact sheet lists three “important concepts,” namely, “one country, two systems,” “a high degree of autonomy,” and “Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong.”

The last concept differs from the 2013 fact sheet, which reads “Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong.” 

Website Reports says the subtle shift is a “big difference” because “ruling” implies that the Hong Kong government, who is supposed to be autonomous from the Central Government in Beijing until 2047, is responsible for making policies, and not simply “administering” Beijing imposed decisions.

The latest Basic Law fact sheet also shifts the position of the three “important concepts,” pushing “a high degree of autonomy” last, and removing the quotation marks.

In light of the Chinese regime’s June 2014 white paper declaring “comprehensive jurisdiction” over Hong Kong, an Aug. 31 Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress decision to continue selecting and having the final word on who gets to be Hong Kong’s top leader, as well as recent pronouncements by a Chinese ambassador and a Hong Kong lawmaker that the Joint Declaration is “void” and “fulfilled,” the message is clear.

“Beijing rules, the Hong Kong Government administers, and the high degree of autonomy now comes last if it is mentioned at all,” says Website Reports.

The fact sheet changes may be small, but Hongkongers could kick up a big fuss. After all, the Umbrella Movement was sparked by pro-democracy supporters perceiving Beijing’s reluctance to allow democratic reform as the Chinese regime going back on the agreements of the Joint Declaration.