The “patriots ruling Hong Kong” are on the stage. The Basic Law is ready to go down?

The promotion of Administrative Officer Liu Liqun to the post of Permanent Secretary has given the Hong Kong party media a stern greeting, accusing her of not being “patriotic” and using her husband as the basis for an article, which shows that once “patriots rule Hong Kong” overrides everything, the elite at the top of the civil service can hardly be left alone.

Civil servants need not be afraid, because the Basic Law provides for the protection of the civil service, including Article 103, which states that “The previous system of recruitment, employment, assessment, discipline, training and management of the public service in Hong Kong, including the specialized agencies responsible for their appointment, pay and conditions of service … shall be maintained. …, shall be retained.”

The problem is that the party media, which is the mouthpiece of the regime and indicates the official political orientation, is now not only raising a fuss of inquisition, but also dragging in the other half of the party, and publishing articles demanding the SAR government to violate the Basic Law by changing the civil service management system and giving the power to appoint permanent secretaries to the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office and the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government. If the Basic Law were the basis, one could have scoffed at this proposal, but how could the SAR Government, which looks up to the Central Government, sternly refute it with Article 103 of the Basic Law?

The above proposal, which calls for the SAR government to surrender its powers and instead have the two offices verify that the political officers are indeed patriotic before they can serve as permanent secretaries, is simply treacherous. The first is to abet the SAR Government to give up its autonomy, and the second is to incite the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office and the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government to violate Article 22 of the Basic Law, that is, “No department of the Central People’s Government …… shall interfere in the affairs which the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region administers on its own in accordance with this Law”. But the party media is not a light, to “patriots ruling Hong Kong” as a call to “national security” as a platform, the sword pointed to senior civil servants and what is surprising, anyway, to change on the change, the Basic Law can not help it?

In contrast to the political discourse of patriotism, the entire Basic Law, from beginning to end, does not contain the word “patriotism”, except for a brief historical discussion in the preamble, and for the most part, constitutional principles and specific provisions are written in objective descriptive language. On the contrary, “patriotic” discourse is inevitably based on subjective judgments, people say different things, if the SAR officials frankly confessed that patriotism is the same as love of the Party, then of course the primary consideration is the feelings of the Party, because you love the Party or not, the Party has the right to speak. It is clear from this that the key to the so-called “patriots ruling Hong Kong” is not the objective requirement of “patriotism”, but who can decide who is a “patriot”.

Beijing is now changing the electoral system in Hong Kong along this path. In recent years, a candidate for the Legislative Council election can be disqualified for advocating Hong Kong’s independence or self-determination after he or she has registered. First, the scope of application is broader, extending from Legislative Council members to District Council members, members of the Chief Executive Election Committee and even the promotion of Administrative Officers; second, the concept is broader, using the official “patriotism” as the criterion, and those who are said to be unpatriotic will be disqualified from running for election even if they do not advocate Hong Kong independence; third, Beijing’s participation is broader, because both Third, Beijing’s involvement is more extensive, as it claims to have full governing power over Hong Kong, and direct participation in the political screening process seems to be a matter of Time.

With the appreciation of “patriotism” and the infiltration of “patriotic” criteria into every corner of the political system, the Basic Law has been devalued, if not deformed (at least the text is still there), and, unfortunately, has become a political trap. For example, Article 103 of the Basic Law is to maintain the original system of civil servants, but sorry, it was only applicable to “patriotic” civil servants. In addition, civil service director Nie Dequan may be prosecuted for not conducting a patriotic review or for not welcoming the results of the review to “patriotic” people.

Similarly, the forty-seven individuals charged with “conspiracy to subvert state power” were also charged with misbelief in the Basic Law. The charge is that they attempted to obtain a majority of seats in the Legislative Council through an election and then veto the budget, forcing the Chief Executive to dissolve the Legislative Council in accordance with the Basic Law, and then continue to veto the budget after the re-election, resulting in the Chief Executive’s stepping down and paralysis of governance.

What is inexplicable is that the Legislative Council election, the veto of the budget, the dissolution of the Legislative Council, the re-election and the stepping down of the Chief Executive are all either permitted by the Basic Law or the consequences of following the Basic Law. The charges specifically point out that they agreed to veto the budget regardless of its content, but the Basic Law only restricts the Chief Executive from arbitrarily sending back bills passed by the Legislative Council for reconsideration, but does not restrict legislators from vetoing the budget only on the grounds of public finance.

These questions are yet to be properly answered, otherwise it would be tantamount to declaring the Basic Law obsolete and invalid.