BEIJING, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) -- Chinese experts have stated that criticisms of the recent interpretation of the Basic Law of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) are totally unfounded.
The interpretation by the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, which is expected to ensure the proper implementation of the "one country, two systems" principle and the rule of law in Hong Kong, will only do good, not harm, to the SAR, according to the experts.
China's top legislature on Monday adopted an interpretation of Article 104 of the Basic Law of Hong Kong SAR, clarifying the implications and requirements of the oaths taken by legislators-elect.
The interpretation was issued following the behavior of a handful of legislators-elect during the election of Hong Kong's Legislative Council (LegCo) and the subsequent swearing-in ceremony. These individuals had publicly voiced support for "Hong Kong independence," intentionally violated the oath and insulted the Chinese nation.
In response to some comments doubting that the interpretation would harm the high degree of autonomy and judicial independence in Hong Kong, Qiang Shigong, a professor with Peking University, noted that such opinions treat the "one country" and "two systems" of the principle in a separate manner.
While "one country" should be the basis for "two systems," such criticisms try to make the "two systems" part override, or even deny, the "one country" basis, Qiang said, adding that such "selective understanding" of the principle is "obviously wrong."
"The 'one country, two systems' principle is an integrated concept, and the authorization from the central authorities is the only source of the high degree of autonomy in Hong Kong," Qiang said.
The high degree of autonomy and judicial independence should be subject to the authority of the central authorities, which is represented in the top legislature's interpretation, Qiang said.
Zou Pingxue, a Hong Kong Basic Law expert with Shenzhen University, explained that legislative bodies' amendments and interpretations to law are common in legal practice.
The experts also refuted some reproaches that view the interpretation as a "political intervention," noting that the "one country" basis must not be compromised, and the undermining of this basis has caused the current problems in Hong Kong.
The separatist claims preached by "Hong Kong independence" forces are matters that concern China's national sovereignty and security, as well as stability of the Hong Kong SAR.
Such claims have encroached on the fundamental interests of the country, according to Qiang.
The top legislature's interpretation is to ensure the faithful implementation of the Basic Law and protect the country's fundamental interests and long-term stability in Hong Kong, Qiang said.
Guo Tianwu, a law professor with Sun Yat-sen University, refuted claims that the interpretation violated free speech, saying that the freedom should be subject to the limits and boundaries of law, national security, social order and other people's legal rights and interests.
Separatist remarks by "Hong Kong independence" forces, which have seriously violated the country's Constitution and the Basic Law of the Hong Kong SAR, and damaged Hong Kong's public interest, should not be protected under the freedom of speech, Guo said.
Rao Geping, a law professor at Peking University, agreed, stressing that free speech should be based on certain conditions.
Rao also noted that the national self-determination rule in international law should not be applied to "Hong Kong independence" claims, which go against China's history, common sense, law and public opinion.
The professor called on Hong Kong society, especially the LegCo, to fully understand the significance of the interpretation, reach consensus and judge and regulate its members' words and acts by the law to safeguard the rule of law.
"If 'Hong Kong independence' remarks are left unchecked, the authority and credibility of the LegCo will be damaged and Hong Kong society and the immediate interests of Hong Kong citizens will be jeopardized," Rao said.