China Adopts Interpretation of Hong Kong Basic Law

China Adopts Interpretation of Basic Law of Hong Kong SAR

(Xinhua News Agency, Nov. 7, 2016. Complete text:) Beijing - China’s top legislature on Monday [Nov. 7] adopted an interpretation of Article 104 of the Basic Law of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) by a unanimous vote.

The interpretation was issued by the National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee 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.

Article 104 of the Basic Law stipulates: "When assuming office, the chief executive, principal officials, members of the executive council and of the legislative council, judges of courts at all levels and other members of the judiciary in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region must, in accordance with law, swear to uphold the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China and swear allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China."

According to the interpretation of Article 104, "To uphold the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China" and to bear "allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China" are not only the legal content which must be included in the oath prescribed by the Article, but also the legal requirements and preconditions for standing for election in respect of or taking up the public office specified in the Article.

Oath taking is a legal prerequisite and required procedure for public officers elected to office, it said.

No public office shall be assumed, no corresponding powers or functions shall be exercised, and no corresponding entitlement shall be enjoyed by anyone who fails to lawfully and validly take the oath or who declines to take the oath, it spelled ...

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