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The Hong Kong Basic Law – A brief introduction 香港基本法簡介
The Basic Law provides the constitutional basis for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) from 1 July 1997. Article 5 of the Basic Law provides that the socialist system and policies shall not be practiced and the previous capitalist system and way of life shall remain unchanged for 50 years. This mini-constitutional document outlines the principles and details of implementing “One Country, Two Systems” (一國兩制) in Hong Kong during these 50 years. It formulates the legal framework for HKSAR to become a region with “a high degree of autonomy” (高度自治) and have "Hong Kong People administering Hong Kong" (港人治港), except for the issues related to defence and foreign affairs.
The Hong Kong Basic Law became effective on 1 July 1997