Various sectors in Hong Kong have shown their support for the decision of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) on the qualification of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR)'s Legislative Council (LegCo) members.
The HKSAR government announced the disqualification of four LegCo members following the decision adopted by China's top legislature on Wednesday.
The HKSAR NPC deputies and members of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) expressed firm support for the decision, saying it is reasonable, legal and constitutional and conducive to Hong Kong's well-being and rebooting its economy.
They said that the decision clearly define the bottom line of the rules so as to ensure the normal operation of Hong Kong's legislature and provide legal basis for the following work.
Tam Yiu-chung, a member of the NPC Standing Committee, and Tam Wai-chu, deputy director of the HKSAR Basic Law Committee under the NPC Standing Committee, held a press conference on Thursday with more than 10 Hong Kong deputies to the NPC.
Tam Yiu-chung said that the decision of the NPC Standing Committee has further confirmed the responsibilities of LegCo members, making it clear that LegCo members, who serve the public, must abide by Article 104 of the HKSAR Basic Law.
The Hong Kong business community also supported the decision. The Chinese General Chamber of Commerce issued a statement, saying that the decision made it clear that LegCo members must uphold and abide by the HKSAR Basic Law.
The decision will enable the LegCo's operation to resume normal as soon as possible, which is, in the long run, conducive to the effective administration of the HKSAR government and ensure full and accurate implementation of "one country, two systems" and the HKSAR Basic Law, the chamber said.
The Hong Kong Commerce and Industry Associations (HKCNIA) said that the decision has ensured the constitutional order of the HKSAR and the steady and far-reaching development of "one country, two systems".
The HKCNIA has launched a joint petition inviting the public to support the HKSAR government in disqualifying LegCo members, who neglect their duties, according to law. As of 5 p.m. Thursday (local time), more than 470,000 netizens had signed the agreement.
The Chinese Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong said that the decision is constitutional and reasonable and it has provided clear guidelines for dealing with the qualifications of candidates for LegCo elections in the future.
The association urged LegCo members to perform their duties with all their heart and discuss bills in a legal and reasonable way to ensure the effective administration of the HKSAR government.
However, some of the lawmakers on Wednesday announced resignation in response to the decision adopted by the Standing Committee of the NPC. The act was condemned by various sectors, saying those lawmakers are ignoring the well-being of Hong Kong people and challenging the central authority.
Ng Chau-pei, a Hong Kong deputy to the NPC, also president of the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions, said that the collective resignation of the opposition lawmakers has exposed their intention to perish together with Hong Kong and they are betraying voters and democratic principles.
Chan Man-ki, a Hong Kong deputy to the NPC, also founding president of the Small and Medium Law Firms Association of Hong Kong, said that the act of collective resignation equals refusing to accept that China exercises sovereignty over Hong Kong and the central government exercises overall jurisdiction over the HKSAR.
It is contrary to the constitutional requirement of Article 104 of the HKSAR Basic Law for the qualifications of LegCo members, said Chan.
The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) said in a statement that the decision of the NPC Standing Committee has constitutional authority and the resignation of some of the opposition LegCo members should be condemned.
The lawmakers who decided to quit ignored the authority of the Standing Committee of the NPC and tried to destroy "one country, two systems," the DAB statement said.
Chan Chi-Ho, vice executive chairman of the Hong Kong CPPCC Youth Association, said that the collective resignation is a disgraceful behavior. Those who resigned are not loyal to the HKSAR and have shown no intention to uphold the HKSAR Basic Law.