Sunday, October 5, 2014
When Can the People's Liberation Army Intervene in Hong Kong's Umbrella Revolution? //HKU Legal Scholarship Blog
When Can the People's Liberation Army Intervene in Hong Kong's Umbrella Revolution?
by Professor Fu Hualing (Faculty of Law, The University of Hong Kong)
Policing and criminal law are matters within Hong Kong’s autonomy and powers that have been delegated to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). According to paragraph 2 of Article 14 of the Basic Law, “The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall be responsible for the maintenance of public order in the Region.” The Chinese military has a legitimate presence in Hong Kong for defence purposes. Under paragraph 1 of Article 14, the military in Hong Kong “shall not interfere in the local affairs of the Region.” The Chinese Garrison Law (which applies to Hong Kong as a national law listed in Annex III of the Basic Law and promulgated by the HKSAR) reiterates the non-interventionist principles.
Article 5 of the Garrison Law itemises the defence functions that the garrison force may perform in Hong Kong and Article 9 also makes it explicit that the military shall not interfere with Hong Kong’s local affairs. However, the central government may authorise military intervention in an otherwise local matter of policing and public order in two exceptional circumstances. The first is intervention on request under Article 14 of the Basic Law. According to paragraph 3 of that article, “The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region may, when necessary, ask the Central People's Government for assistance from the garrison in the maintenance of public order and in disaster relief.”"
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