Pro-Beijing lawmaker Priscilla Leung said on Wednesday that changes to the official line on Hong Kong's handover in 1997 reflect the city's actual history and ensure descriptions of the event are consistent with the Basic Law.
Leung said that while it is okay for general members of the public to use inaccurate wording to describe the city's history, it is a different matter when it comes to the authorities.
The government has come under fire for erasing references to a "handover of sovereignty" from an official website, while an Education Bureau review panel recently said such wording should not be used in school textbooks.
Pro-democracy figures have accused the government of trying to "whitewash" Hong Kong's history, but Leung said it is actually about setting the record straight.
"In terms of law, the description of the handover of sovereignty is not too articulate, nor accurate to describe the actual situation. If you look at the preamble of the Hong Kong Basic Law, the description that has been adopted in law is the 'resumption of the exercise of sovereignty'," Leung told RTHK's Frances Sit.
"China has always had the sovereignty of Hong Kong," the lawmaker added.
"I think 'handover of Hong Kong' is acceptable. But 'handover of sovereignty' has always been rejected by the Chinese authorities. But you know, ordinary people ... they may adopt some terms that are not too articulate in terms of law and in terms of the actual history," Leung said.