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Beijing adviser calls for C.Y. to assert executive’s role


Hong Kong does not have a separation of powers with legislature and judiciary, Zhu Yucheng says

Dennis Chong
May 13, 2012

Chief executive-elect Leung Chun-ying should strengthen the executive-led system of government after he takes office in July, a top adviser to Beijing says.

Zhu Yucheng , a former deputy director of Xinhua in Hong Kong, made the suggestion a day after pan-democrats succeeded in delaying a Legislative Council debate on a by-elections bill for the second week running.

“What we have to pay attention to now is the original meaning of ‘one country, two systems’,” Zhu said yesterday on the sidelines of the opening of Tsinghua University’s first Hong Kong and Macau affairs think tank. “The political system [of Hong Kong] is an executive-led system, not a separation of powers between the executive, legislature and judiciary.

“Leung will have an advantage [in implementing this principle] as he did a large amount of research and investigation when the Basic Law was drafted.”

Zhu, a close ally of former vice-president Zeng Qinghong – who was in charge of Hong Kong affairs prior to Vice-President Xi Jinping – served in Hong Kong at a time when the official news agency performed a similar role to that of the central government’s liaison office today. He also helped form a think tank under the State Council to promote stability in Hong Kong and Macau soon after the 500,000-strong anti-government march on July 1, 2003.

Zhu (pictured) is an adviser to the new Tsinghua University Hong Kong and Macau Study Centre in Shenzhen. The university, traditionally strong in science and engineering, has appointed dean of law Wang Zhenmin to lead the centre. It will run training courses for civil servants in collaboration with government bodies.

Another Beijing adviser, Lin Tai, a professor of social sciences at the university, said Leung must take responsibility for pushing through policies, as civil servants had faced difficultiesafter the handover when trying to turn ideas into reality.

On the issue of mainland mothers-to-be visiting Hong Kong to give birth, Wang said the city’s government should explore all executive or legal means before considering taking up the issue with Beijing for a reinterpretation of the Basic Law. “It should be handled by the Special Administrative Region government … through executive and legal means,” he said. “If it is handled locally, there is no need for a reinterpretation.”

A spokeswoman for the new centre said it would advise on “strategic” issues and the long-term development of the country, as well as deepening co-operation between Hong Kong, Macau and the mainland.

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