When the idea was raised, the UK rejected democracy in Hong Kong. Benny Tai, whose job is presumably to make an airtight legal case for the action, instead observed that international practices don’t demand popular nomination. In fact, the UK doesn’t have direct nomination, as a HKSAR representative pointed out during the student dialogue. The key stipulation is a matter of principle: Do citizens have real choice? Do the candidates represent different needs and backgrounds? The best he could say was that popular nomination would unequivocally meet international standards, not that it was the only way.
Even more problematically, perhaps, the UK opted out of the Article 25 of the Universal Covenant of Civil and Political Rights for universal suffrage and direct elections for Hong Kong during its merrily undemocratic colonial years, and the PRC succeeded to that treatment when it took over in 1997. The OHK legal case rests on the rather frail legal reed that Beijing inadvertently surrendered its reservation by holding legislative elections.
And that is the best that the cream of the Hong Kong legal profession and the NED-whose job it is to twist Beijing’s knickers on these kinds of treaties-has been able to come up with after over a decade of determined lawyering. Read more here..
I have to laugh at all the Brits on here crying foul when our government has been doing the same thing for a century under the Letters Patent. Look here. China can act on matters of national security within its own territory without the permission of the local government. The Joint Declaration and Basic Law specifically exclude defence of which national security is an integral part. This is the first time they have appeared to use it. In British colonies the colonial government maintained Special Branch for exactly the same purpose. It was seldom answerable to the local government and prisoners could find themselves on the Isle of Wight without so much as a how’s your father.
Lau Man-shing was an inspector in the Water Supplies Department and a member of the executive committee of the Government Waterworks Chinese Employees Union. He joined a 1967 strike organised by the Anti-British Struggle Committee, founded by the leftist camp, which caused him to lose his lucrative job and be detained for 13 months at Victoria Road Detention Centre. Some 52 leaders of leftist organisations, including Lau, were detained at the centre during the riots, many for more than a year without trial. Peter Tsang Yu-hung still lamented his suffering during the riots, although he was not involved in any violent acts. He was a Form Five pupil at the pro-Beijing Heung To Middle School in Kowloon Tong when he and 51 schoolmates were arrested on their way home from school on November 1, 1967.
They were stopped by a team of police officers near Somerset Road and were arrested for attending an unlawful and “intimidating” assembly in a public place under the emergency law in force at the time. Three of them had rejected police demands to search their schoolbags.
“We were arrested just because we were students from a left-wing school … A month later, we were taken to the court without lawyers representing us,” Tsang said. He was sentenced to a year in jail for attending an unlawful assembly. Another 20 schoolmates and the teacher were given jail terms from 12 to 20 months. http://www.scmp.com/news/china/policies-politics/article/1971502/when-cultural-revolution-spilled-over-riots-hong-kong