Border control highlights HK autonomy [China Daily]
Any future discussion of “One Country, Two Systems” will undoubtedly include the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s escape to Hong Kong earlier this summer. There were many discussions at the time asking how the government would handle Snowden, but some circles paid particular attention to whether the government would consider him a refugee.
Not could consider, but would consider. Some doubted that the Hong Kong SAR Government truly had the power to decide Snowden’s fate, and would instead follow the whims of Beijing. The truth is different. The rules for determining refugee status are complicated, but the main point is that the HKSAR Government has the authority, jointly held with a local United Nations body, to recognize refugees.