英文

Editorial:Escalation of political war

【明報專訊】The decision made by the National People's Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC) specifically states that members of the Legislative Council (Legco) who advocate or support the independence of Hong Kong, refuse to recognise China's sovereignty over Hong Kong and its exercise of the sovereignty, seek external interference in the affairs of Hong Kong, or engage in other acts that endanger national security are regarded as failing to comply with the legal requirement of pledging allegiance to the HKSAR in accordance with the Basic Law. When their incompliance is legally confirmed, they will lose their status as a lawmaker immediately. The decision is applicable not only to lawmakers who stand for election or serve in Legco in future, but also to members of the sixth Legco term whose nominations were ruled invalid as a result of the above-mentioned situations during the nomination period for election of the seventh Legco term originally scheduled for September.

This summer, the Hong Kong government postponed the Legco election in September citing the pandemic. In order to avoid a vacuum period, the government requested the NPCSC extend the term of office of all members of the sixth Legco term. There was quite a lot of controversy over whether the four disqualified lawmakers, including Alvin Yeung, Dennis Kwok, Kwok Ka-ki and Kenneth Leung, could remain in office. One month after the resumption of Legco, there was new controversy over the disqualification of these four lawmakers. From a constitutional point of view, the National People's Congress is the highest organ of state power in the country, and there is no doubt about the legal authority of the decisions made by the NPCSC, its permanent body. The Hong Kong government has only recently requested that the central government deal with the issue of lawmakers' eligibility and there is always for the government a way to justify itself. However, from a political point of view, the decision to ''disqualify'' the four lawmakers is bound to cause internal and external repercussions. That more than ten pan-democratic lawmakers have resigned en masse might only be the beginning.

From the central government's perspective, the anti-amendment storm illustrates a major gap in national security. With some people calling for the independence of Hong Kong, some determined to pursue a ''scorched-earth'' strategy and some colluding with external forces, an all-out ''political war'' has begun. In order to plug the loopholes and control the situation, the central government will no longer have any doubts and will not hesitate to take action no matter how serious the repercussions are. Both the National Security Law and the disqualification of lawmakers reflect this line of thinking. The definition of public office holders is quite broad, as it covers District Council members. Judging from the current situation, more shocks are likely to follow.

''One country'' and ''two systems'' have their own boundaries. If any side ignores the boundaries, problems are bound to arise. The pro-democracy camp stressed solidarity when it came to the extension of Legco's term. Now the lawmakers, who number more than ten, have resigned as a response to their supporters. But the operation of Legco will not be affected, so it remains to be seen whether such a move was wise. The original concern of the public was whether the NPCSC would take action against Legco members who filibustered and paralysed the operation of the legislature. However, the NPCSC's decision does not touch on this issue. The three red lines drawn by the central government for disqualifying the democrats are: promoting or supporting Hong Kong independence, seeking external interference, and endangering national security. Politicians must make a clear and unambiguous break with the independence of Hong Kong, violence and interference by external forces.

明報社評 2020.11.12:政治戰爭升級 「DQ」震盪或未息

今次人大常委會的《決定》,具體列明立法會議員若宣揚或支持「港獨」、拒絕承認國家對香港擁有並行使主權、尋求外部勢力干預香港事務,又或作出其他危害國家安全的行為,不符合擁護《基本法》效忠特區的法定要求,一經依法認定,即時喪失議員資格。有關《決定》除了適用於今後參選或出任立法會的議員,亦適用於原定9月舉行的第7屆立法會選舉提名期間,因上述情形被裁定提名無效的第6屆立法會議員。

今夏港府以疫情為由,押後9月立法會選舉,為免出現真空期,港府提請人大常委會,讓第6屆立法會全體議員延任。4名被取消參選資格的立法會議員,包括楊岳橋、郭榮鏗、郭家麒及梁繼昌可否延任,惹來不少議論。立法會復會一個月,4人議員資格風波再起,從憲制角度,人大是全國最高權力機關,由其常設機關所作的決定,法律權威毋庸置疑;港府最近才提請中央處理議員資格問題,也總有方法自圓其說,惟無論如何,從政治角度,「DQ」4名立法會議員的決定,對內對外必定引起震盪,泛民10多名立法會議員集體辭職,也許只是開始。

從中央角度,反修例風暴說明香港是國安重大缺口,有人搞港獨、有人要攬炒、有人勾結外部勢力,「政治戰爭」已經全面開打,為了堵塞缺口、控制局面,中央不會再有避忌,認為要出手便出手,迴響再大一樣照做,無論《港區國安法》還是今次「DQ」事件,皆反映此一思路。公職人員定義相當廣泛,區議員等亦包括其中,觀乎目前形勢,更多震盪可能還在後頭。

一國兩制各有分際,各方不理局限,必定出事。泛民就立法會延任一事,強調齊上齊落,現在十多名議員辭職,對支持者有所交代,不過立法會運作不會因此受影響,泛民集體辭職是否明智,還看事態發展。外界原先關注,人大常委會會否出手,針對立法會議員拉布癱瘓議會運作,然而人大常委會的決定,並未觸及相關問題,中央劃下的「DQ」議員三紅線,是宣揚或支持港獨、尋求外部勢力干預,以及危害國安,從政者必須與港獨、暴力及外部勢力干預清晰切割,不能再含糊其辭。

■/ Glossary 生字 /

escalation /ˌeskəˈleɪʃn/

the act of becoming or making sth greater, worse, more serious, etc.

interference /ˌɪntəˈfɪərəns/

the act of getting involved in and trying to influence a situation that should not really involve you

all-out /ˌɔːl ˈaʊt/

using or involving every possible effort and done in a very determined way

■英語社評聲檔:link.mingpao.com/53000.htm

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