HC Deb 24 April 1998 vol 310 cc722-3W
Sir John Stanley

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the compatibility of the legislation recently passed by the Provisional Legislature in Hong Kong exempting Chinese state organisations from the territories' laws with Article 22 of the Basic Law; and if he will make a statement. [39680]

Mr. Fatchett

It is reasonable that the Hong Kong SAR Government should adapt references to the British Crown in Hong Kong's laws. We share the concerns expressed in Hong Kong about the implications of the way in which this legislation has been drafted, including the extent to which Chinese state bodies will be bound by local laws.

The question of the Ordinance's compatibility with Article 22 of the Basic Law involves interpretation of Hong Kong law, and would therefore be a matter for the Hong Kong courts.