BEIJING - Experience in handling affairs related to Hong Kong’s Basic Law will help Li Fei in his new position – overseeing the country’s legal and constitutional issues, especially on legal matters related to Hong Kong – political leaders said on Tuesday.
This sound understanding of local affairs would lead to better handling of Hong Kong-related legal issues, which are part of the Constitution and Law Committee’s job
Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai, Member, NPCSC
Li, deputy secretary-general of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee and its Hong Kong SAR Basic Law Committee chairman since 2013, was promoted on Tuesday to lead the newly established Constitution and Law Committee.
The committee, set up under the country’s top legislature, the NPC, was originally called the Law Committee with Qiao Xiaoyang as the chairman and Li as vice-chairman.
The renaming was seen as a move to highlight the importance of constitutional affairs.
NPCSC member Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai said Li is familiar with Hong Kong thanks to his position as Basic Law Committee chairman. This sound understanding of local affairs would lead to better handling of Hong Kong-related legal issues, which are part of the Constitution and Law Committee’s job, Fan said.
But Fan said there was little chance Li could continue as Hong Kong Basic Law Committee chairman. Li’s term as the committee’s chairman ends in June.
Echoing Fan, Deputy Director of the HKSAR Basic Law Committee Elsie Leung Oi-sie said she believed Li would take up the new position with ease because of his past experience.
Leung also assured that no matter who took up the chairman’s post, the Basic Law Committee would remain consistent in policies and work.
Hong Kong NPC deputy Tam Yiu-chung also expressed confidence in Li’s future work performance.
Another new committee member is Zhang Rongshun, Basic Law Committee vice-chairman. Tam said both of them understand Hong Kong affairs well. The new committee could be viewed as competent in handling Hong Kong-related legal issues, Tam added.
During his term as the Basic Law Committee chairman, Li is known for his briefing to Hong Kong people on the NPCSC’s decision on constitutional development in the city, as well as its interpretation on Article 104 of the Basic Law, which detailed requirements on oath-taking by SAR office bearers. His work highlights also included attending the Basic Law symposium held in Hong Kong last November, during which he spelt out the city’s constitutional obligations.