Since the reunification of Hong Kong, the "One Country, Two Systems" policy and the Basic Law have been deeply rooted in the hearts of the people. However, in recent years, various social events have reflected that there is a great divergence among Hong Kong citizens in the interpretation and opinions of the original meaning, legal principles, history, and interpretation of the Basic Law. For example, there is a debate on the power basis of "One Country, Two Systems," whether "Two Systems are greater than One Country" or "Two Systems are based on One Country." In terms of "high degree of autonomy," there has been always skepticism about the "high" and "autonomy," and the "city-state theory" emerged in 2011, which pointed out that Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy is similar to the ancient city-states in Europe. The theory has been particularly welcomed by the younger generation, inspiring many new generations to follow the discourse and advocacy of the "city-state theory" and to develop a political ideology that violates the Basic Law. As society continues to develop, controversies over Hong Kong's political system and the Basic Law have increased, such as the disputes over "Belt and Road" and "One Country, Two Systems," the legal theory of "One Place, Two Checks," the debate over the unconstitutional amendment of the Legislative Council's "Rules of Procedure," the unconstitutional advocacy of "Hong Kong independence," and the rights and responsibilities of the mainland and Hong Kong under the "One Country, Two Systems" framework. These controversies reflect that as people's awareness of their citizenship and the Basic Law continues to increase, they no longer just focus on the surface content of the Basic Law but pay more attention to its deep legal and historical issues.
In the past, education on the national constitution and the Basic Law was not a priority of the national and Hong Kong government policies. However, social phenomena reflect that there are differences among Hong Kong citizens in their understanding of "One Country, Two Systems" and the Basic Law. Therefore, it is necessary to strengthen the constitutional and Basic Law education of various social groups, which are the foundation of the practice of "One Country, Two Systems" and the essential meaning of fully maintaining the rule of law in Hong Kong.
Therefore, it is the right time to promote Basic Law education to the public again, and I hope that the public can have a deeper understanding of the legal principles and history of "One Country, Two Systems" and the Basic Law. This is also the motivation and mission of the foundation.
Basic Law Foundation is a non-profit and non-government think tank that specializes in providing high-quality research and educational services regarding the development of Hong Kong Rule of Law, Basic Law, and Constitutional system. According to the article of association, our aims are:
Promoting research and education regarding the Hong Kong Basic Law;
supporting research projects regarding One Country Two Systems, the Basic Law, Hong Kong-and-mainland China relations, and public governance;
supporting research projects in Hong Kong, mainland China and overseas;
providing support to Basic Law research and education programs.