BEIJING, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- The decision to postpone the Legislative Council (LegCo) election due to the severe COVID-19 epidemic situation has shown the strong commitment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government towards the residents' safety and health, said Chinese mainland experts.
He Junzhi, deputy head of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies, noted that containing the epidemic is Hong Kong's top priority right now.
If the epidemic cannot be brought under control, it will have a negative impact on public health, social stability and economic development, he said.
"Election campaigns and voting will bring about large-scale gatherings, greatly increasing the risk of COVID-19 infection," he said. "There are also hundreds of thousands of elderly voters whose lives can be at risk at the polls."
Chen Xinxin, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the decision to postpone the LegCo election is a necessary move which is totally reasonable and legitimate.
The current provisions of the Basic Law of the HKSAR and Hong Kong's local laws cannot answer questions posed by the vacancy of the region's legislative body, he said.
It is under such circumstances that the Central People's Government will ask the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress to make a decision in accordance with the law, Chen said.
"The country stands firm behind Hong Kong in its efforts to fight the epidemic," said Zhang Jian, a research fellow at Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, adding that upon every major crisis, the central government has helped Hong Kong overcome the risks. Enditem