Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the PeopleĂs Republic of China. Accessed 21 Jul. 2003. <˘http://www.info.gov.hk/basic_law/fulltext/index.htm÷>.
Chief Executive TungĂs refusal to withdraw the anti-subversion bill despite the massive demonstrations against it suggest that the PRC remains mindful of the limits on the HKSARĂs autonomy. The demonstrations, however, also suggest that Hong Kong residents intend to guard that autonomy zealously. This inherent tension in the ˘one country, two system÷ policy will likely lead to more demonstrations in the coming years as the PRC attempts to press its authority and Hong Kong residents guard their rights.
Xiaoyang argues that the unitary relationship between China and Hong Kong means that Chinese central authorities retain full sovereignty over the HKSAR. However, the PRC took into account the ways in which Hong KongĂs history differed from that of the PRC to draft a Basic Law that would facilitate the social stability and economic development of Hong Kong. The resulting Law, therefore, authorizes the HKSAR to exercise a high degree of autonomy in certain domestic areas. In particular, Article 12 of the Basic Law provides that ˘[t]he Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall be a local administrative region of the PeopleĂs Republic of China, which shall enjoy a high degree of autonomy and come directly under the Central PeopleĂs Government÷ (Basic Law of HKSAR, Art. 12). Thus, as Xiaoyang notes, the HKSAR is empowered to administer its domestic executive, legislative and judicial affairs with minimal interference from the PRC central authorities (Basic Law of HKSAR, Arts. 15-17). As a result, in some ways, Hong Kong operates as a semi-autonomous state with the PRC as its governing, central authority, which further explains why the relationship is considered ˘unitary÷ or ˘one country.÷
Despite the recognition of the ˘two systems,÷ however, the unitary relationship between Hong Kon