Chief Executive of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Carrie Lam attends a press conference in Hong Kong, south China, April 14, 2020. (Xinhua/Lui Siu Wai)
HONG KONG, April 14 (Xinhua) -- Chief Executive of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Carrie Lam on Tuesday refuted the accusation that the comments by the central government and its liaison office in the HKSAR on the malfunctioning of the Legislative Council (LegCo) constitute interference.
"I see no ground for that sort of accusation," Lam said when answering a question at a press conference.
The Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council on Monday urged the HKSAR LegCo to resume normal operation as soon as possible and condemned "despicable tactics" used by some opposition lawmakers to paralyze the LegCo for personal political gains. The Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR also condemned some LegCo members who maliciously filibustered and delayed the discussion for multiple bills related to people's livelihood and the fight against COVID-19 outbreak.
Lam said the central government has given Hong Kong a high degree of autonomy through the Basic Law under "one country, two systems," which, however, doesn't mean the central government has given up its power and authority on Hong Kong affairs.
The central government has always been very supportive of the HKSAR government in improving livelihood and promoting Hong Kong's economic development, Lam said.
"So when they (the two offices) see this very bizarre situation in which the LegCo is almost malfunctioning because the House Committee has not been able to elect a chairman for over six months, I find it only legitimate for them to express their concern," Lam said, stressing that the malfunctioning of the LegCo undermines the governance in Hong Kong.
However, some LegCo members urged foreign governments to comment on Hong Kong affairs and even called for sanctions on Hong Kong, which, Lam noted, can actually be called interference.
Weighed on by the filibustering by some opposition lawmakers, Lam said many functions of the LegCo including the making of legislation have not been discharged since October last year, which is unacceptable.
Government business, especially in legislation, has been held up by the House Committee not having its proper function and operation, with much of the legislation having a direct impact on Hong Kong's economic development and the livelihood of people, Lam said, citing bills on maternity leave, fire safety and tax reduction, and stressing that efforts should be made to rectify the situation as soon as possible.
With the current session of the LegCo due to end in July, bills that could not be passed by that time will become invalid and all the efforts will be wasted, Lam said.
The HKSAR government would have carried out better anti-epidemic operations if there were more cohesiveness, unity and solidarity, Lam said, calling for an end to political disputes to help Hong Kong weather out the pandemic as soon as possible.