Support from the Central Government
175. After reunification, Hong Kong faced a number of severe challenges. Thanks to measures introduced by the Central Government, Hong Kong has been able to move on steadily and contribute to our country by leveraging our unique strengths. The Central Government has not only ensured a high degree of autonomy for Hong Kong as enshrined in the Basic Law, but also given us help and support in a timely and selfless manner. On behalf of Hong Kong, I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude once again to the Central Government.
High Degree of Autonomy
176. The Basic Law confers upon the HKSAR extensive executive, legislative and independent judicial power, including that of final adjudication. As “One Country, Two Systems” is, after all, a new concept, it is inevitable that some issues will arise that require clarification in the early years of our exercise of a high degree of autonomy.
177. An example is the recent interpretation of the Basic Law by the NPCSC in relation to the Congo case heard by the Court of Final Appeal. As a common law jurisdiction, Hong Kong has a different legal system from the Mainland. The NPCSC's interpretation clarifies the application of the doctrine of state immunity in Hong Kong, stating that the determination as to rules or policies on state immunity is an act of state involving foreign affairs, and that the relevant laws previously in force in Hong Kong may continue to be applied only if they comply with the state rules. This clearly demonstrates that the gradual clarification and perfection of the boundary of autonomy in the course of implementation is a necessary and natural process.