Macau Basic Law II

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It assesses how Macao is perceived in the context of China's political system of governance. It defines the constraints of the principle "One Country, Two Systems" and looks for the future of autonomy in China's constitutional context.

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Macau Basic Law II

  1. 1. Macao Basic Law and the future of the MSAR Arnaldo M.A. Gonçalves Assistant Professor of International Relations (Macau Polytechnic Institute); Researcher on International Law and Asian Studies University of Macau, 18.10.2007
  2. 2. Starting point <ul><li>Macao is a special territorial entity of the People’s Republic of China since 20.12.1999 </li></ul><ul><li>Before it was a territory under Portuguese administration for more than 400 years, when the Portuguese arrived at Macao </li></ul><ul><li>That quality was given to it by act of sovereignty of the PRC represented by the President of the Republic – Jiang Zemin </li></ul><ul><li>This was possible following the agreement between the governments of China and Portugal on how to handle the Macau issue (JDQM – 13.04.1987) </li></ul>
  3. 3. Macao and Guandong Province
  4. 4. Starting point <ul><li>Jiang Zemin promulgated by decree of March 31, 1993, the Basic Law of MSAR , that defines the status of the region and includes additional rules referring to the selection of the Chief Executive, the creation of the Macau Legislative Assembly, the National laws applied in Macao and the banner and flag of the MSAR </li></ul>
  5. 5. Administrative Divisions of the People’s Republic of China
  6. 6. Administrative Divisions of China <ul><li>China is divided into 3 layers of territorial divisions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provinces and autonomous regions are divided into autonomous prefectures, counties, autonomous counties and cities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Counties and autonomous counties are divided into townships, ethnic townships </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Source: Article 30 of the Constitution of the PRC </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Administrative Divisions of China <ul><li>And includes a special territorial entity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Special Administrative Regions that are approved by the National People’s Congress (NPC) under a special law (a basic law) that defines their nature and system “in the light of special conditions” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Source: Article 31 of the CPRC </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Constitution of the PRC and article 31
  9. 9. Constitutional and Political foundations on the creation of MSAR <ul><li>Constitutional foundation Article 31 of the CPRC </li></ul><ul><li>Political foundation The Theory (or principle) </li></ul><ul><li>of One Country, Two Systems elaborated </li></ul><ul><li>by former Chinese paramount leader Deng Xiao Ping </li></ul>
  10. 10. What the One Country, Two Systems Theory says <ul><ul><li>On the premise of adhering to the principle of national unification, the socialist system will be put to practice in the main body of the country, while the existing capitalist system and way of living will remain unchanged for a long period of time in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Source: Deng Xiao Ping, “One Country, Two Systems” June 22, 1984, extract of talks with Hong Kong entrepreneurs included in Fundamental Issues in Present-Day China </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. What is the reasoning? <ul><li>China could have recovered its sovereignty over both territories by two means: the use of force or through negotiation </li></ul><ul><li>China preferred negotiation for pragmatic reasons: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>China would appear as a responsible country in the international community’s eyes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>China would confirm that the revolutionary phase of its foreign policy has ended with the death of Mao Zedong </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>China would use this strategy to attract capital, investment, and multinational corporations involving them into pushing China’s economy </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. A sequential set of guaranties set by Central Authorities <ul><li>The MSAR will be able to exercise a high degree of autonomy… which means that it will govern itself as an autonomous entity under the supervision of the Central Government </li></ul><ul><li>The MSAR will enjoy executive, legislative and independent judicial power… which means Macao will have its Chief of Government, its proper Parliament, its separated courts, including the Court of Final Appeal </li></ul>
  13. 13. A sequential set of guaranties set by Central Authorities <ul><li>Macao residents will benefit from the rights and freedom they are entitled to under Portuguese law (and during Portuguese rule) (a chapter of MBL details the frame of fundamental rights) </li></ul><ul><li>Socialist systems and policies (on the continent) will not be applied; the capitalist system and way of life shall remain unchanged for 50 years </li></ul><ul><li>Source: articles 2 and 4 of MBL (Hong Kong Basic Law is identical ) </li></ul>
  14. 14. A sequential set of guaranties set by Central Authorities <ul><li>The right of private ownership of property would be assured </li></ul><ul><li>The laws previously in force would be maintained except for those inconsistent with the Basic Law or amended accordingly </li></ul><ul><li>Portuguese language continues to be used as official language side-to-side with Mandarin </li></ul><ul><li>The MSAR will have a flag and regional emblem </li></ul>
  15. 15. Political orbits Mainland’s political system and socialist-run logic Macau Hong Kong Taiwan
  16. 16. Time of coexistence of the Two Systems <ul><li>50 years starting from the empowerment of the legitimate organs of government in the SARs </li></ul><ul><li>In the case of Macao that deadline ends at December 2049 </li></ul><ul><li>First problematical question </li></ul><ul><li>Will this exemption from the application of the socialist-set of laws and logic continue after 2049? </li></ul><ul><li>We don’t know. We may only speculate. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Macao as an autonomous region in China <ul><li>Was this the best option to ensure the continuation of Macao’s multicultural identity ? </li></ul><ul><li>Probably yes . China has blocked in November 1972 (pushing for an UN resolution removing Macau and Hong Kong from the list of non-self governing territories) any change for self-determination under the UN Charter </li></ul><ul><li>Great Britain has proposed to China to continue administrating Hong Kong under China’s supervision - that proposal was strongly rejected by Deng </li></ul>
  18. 18. System of governance 3 Branches L E J 1 st layer 2nd 3d 3 Layers
  19. 19. Chief Executive <ul><li>Elected by a “broad” representative Election Committee composed of 300 members and appointed by the Central Government </li></ul><ul><li>The election committee responds to a certain composition along functional lines (or sectors of activity) </li></ul><ul><li>The Chief Executive serves for a 5 years term and may serve another (identical) term </li></ul><ul><li>Second problematical question : </li></ul><ul><li>Is this a democratic form of electing the core of Macao’s political government? Hardly. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Chief Executive <ul><li>He enjoys very broad powers, in what is typical of executive-led systems of government (like presidential and semi-presidential) </li></ul><ul><li>He is politically responsible both to the Legislative Assembly and the Central People’s Government </li></ul><ul><li>What’s next? </li></ul><ul><li>A second election to elect the 2 nd Chief Executive will come on 2009 </li></ul>
  21. 21. Chief Executive <ul><li>What are the rules for electing the next? </li></ul><ul><li>The same (Annex I of MBL). Unless an alternative proposal is submitted to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress after collecting the approval of two thirds of the MLA members and the agreement of the (present) Chief Executive </li></ul><ul><li>Source: Paragraph 7 of Annex I </li></ul>
  22. 22. Legislative Assembly <ul><li>Legislative organ of Macau SAR </li></ul><ul><li>Has basic functions: </li></ul><ul><li>To enact, amend, suspend or repeal laws; </li></ul><ul><li>To examine and approve budgets; and examine the report on audit; </li></ul><ul><li>To decide on taxation and approve debts to be undertaken by the government; </li></ul><ul><li>To debate the policy addresses by the Chief Executive; </li></ul><ul><li>To debate any issue concerning public interests; </li></ul><ul><li>To receive and handle complaints from Macao residents; </li></ul>
  23. 23. Legislative Assembly <ul><li>Composed by 29 members (2 nd term) elected in a precise proportion: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>10 by “universal” suffrage, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>12 by indirect suffrage, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>7 nominated by the Chief Executive. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The election is conducted according with the prescriptions of an Electoral Law , previously proposed by the Government and approved by the Legislative Assembly </li></ul>
  24. 24. Legislative Assembly Committee <ul><li>President of the </li></ul><ul><li>LA </li></ul><ul><li>Shanghai native </li></ul><ul><li>Entrepreneur </li></ul><ul><li>CPPCC </li></ul><ul><li>BLDC </li></ul>Susana Chou <ul><li>Vice-Pres. </li></ul><ul><li>Labour Union </li></ul><ul><li>Pro-Beijing </li></ul><ul><li>Probably CCP </li></ul><ul><li>Legislator NPC </li></ul><ul><li>Beijing operative </li></ul>Lau Cheok Va <ul><li>1 st Secretary </li></ul><ul><li>Lawyer </li></ul><ul><li>Local economic </li></ul><ul><li>Interests </li></ul><ul><li>- Macanese lobbying </li></ul><ul><li>BLCC </li></ul><ul><li>Economic Council </li></ul>Leonel Alves <ul><li>2 nd Secretary </li></ul><ul><li>Entrepreneur w/ </li></ul><ul><li>Good connections China </li></ul><ul><li>Pro-Beijing </li></ul><ul><li>Vice-Pre MCA </li></ul><ul><li>Legislator NPC </li></ul>Kou Hoi In All them elected by Indirect suffrage
  25. 25. Legislative Assembly <ul><li>Balance of power </li></ul><ul><li>29 members : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>10 CCP cadres </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>12 entrepreneurial/ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>corporative interests: Macao, Fujian, Zhuhai </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3 non-aligned w/ Beijing (+-10%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2 Macanese lobbying </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>15 non-enterpreneurial interests </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3 lawyers/jurists </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Scenarios of evolution for the political landscape Integration and absorption Continuation Evolution towards a polycentric constitutional system Fragmentation and chaos
  27. 27. Scenarios of evolution <ul><li>1 st Scenario….Integration </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Integration in Guandong province as a district w/ some sort of autonomy and self-governance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Has many supporters in the entrepreneurial community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Has many practical advantages and is favored by a fast economic regional integration in the Pearl River Delta </li></ul></ul><ul><li>2 nd Scenario…. Continuation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Maintenance as a Special Administrative Region after </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2049 for more…..years </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can be an option if the “memory” of the autonomy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>is not eroded by the course of time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>May be secretly wiched by Beijing as a counterpower to the </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Guandong Viceroy </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. Scenarios of evolution <ul><li>3d Scenario….Political Opening </li></ul><ul><ul><li>China evolves towards a multinational federal system at the same time as China democratizes its political system – the end of Communist-monolithic rule </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Macao will be a valid “state”, or “länder”, economic self-sufficient and built around a core business activity (gaming industry and associated tourist activities) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>4 th Scenario….China breaks up </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Macao would not resist to factional struggles and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>would vanish </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. Factors in the evolution of the Macao political system <ul><li>Lack of a civic culture in the Macao society: apathy, lack of concern for the future, lack of generational responsibility </li></ul><ul><li>Improbability of a serious revision of the electoral law and consolidation of the functional and elite system of political representation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Why? The entrepreneurial elite who controls the balance of power doesn’t want it to change or democratize. Why? Because it will loose its power </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. Factors in the evolution of the Macao political system <ul><li>Dependence on the political evolution of Hong Kong as a SAR (What is going to happen with the Green Paper on the Constitutional Development ? ) </li></ul><ul><li>Capacity of the 5 th generation of Chinese Communist leaders appointed by CCP Congress to transform China in a more open, just and pluralistic society </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What means “ deepening political restructuring </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>and keep to the correct political orientation ”? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Hu Jintao, 17 th Congress, 15.10.2007) </li></ul></ul>
  31. 31. Final factor

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