Hong Kong has a bright future under “one country, two systems”
On the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to the motherland, President Xi Jinping visited Hong Kong and delivered an important speech on July 1, in which he reviewed the successful experience of “one country, two systems” thus far, and expressed hopes for the new Special Administrative Region (SAR) government and all social sectors in Hong Kong.
With deep concern for compatriots in Hong Kong, President Xi laid down fundamental guidelines on Hong Kong’s future development and a new chapter of one country, two systems.
First, he reaffirmed commitment to one country, two systems. Thanks to the efforts of both the central government and Hong Kong society, the implementation of one country, two systems has been a globally recognised success overall.
President Xi pointed out the principal tenet of one country, two systems: the more firmly the principle of one country is adhered to, the more advantageous two systems will be in practice.
He also said: “There is no reason to change such a good system. And it must be adhered to in the long run!” These words point to bright prospects for one country, two systems and boosted the confidence of Hong Kong society and the international community.
Second, President Xi charted the course for Hong Kong’s lasting stability and sound governance. Over the past 25 years, the constitutional order of the SAR, which is based on China’s Constitution and the Basic Law of the SAR, has functioned smoothly.
The national security law has been adopted, the electoral system improved, and the principle of patriots administering Hong Kong implemented. All this has laid a solid foundation for Hong Kong to develop a democracy that fits its reality.
President Xi expressed hopes for the new SAR government to rally all social sectors to address people’s concerns, improve governance and achieve better development.
He also encouraged young people to join efforts to build a better Hong Kong. These statements serve to encourage the SAR government to deliver real benefits to people and further unite society.
Third, President Xi spurred Hong Kong on to build closer bonds with the world. Since 1997, Hong Kong, as a dynamic global metropolis, has maintained a high degree of freedom and openness, and developed together with the Chinese mainland by complementing each other.
President Xi emphasised that the central government fully supports Hong Kong in keeping its unique status and strengths, in consolidating its role as an international financial, shipping and trading centre, in protecting its free and open business environment, in retaining its common law system, and in expanding smooth and convenient linkages with the rest of the world.
With unlimited opportunities to tap, Hong Kong needs to enhance its growth momentum and contribute to the country’s high-level opening up.
President Xi said Hong Kong is at a critical stage of moving from chaos to stability and then to greater prosperity, and that although Hong Kong faces both opportunities and challenges,the opportunities far outweigh the challenges.
In today’s fast-evolving world, with changes unseen in a century, China is on a journey towards the second centenary goal of becoming a modern socialist country in all respects. Against this backdrop, a Hong Kong that has emerged stronger from various hardships must seize opportunities in integrating into the country’s overall development.
In this regard, the Commissioner’s Office will also play its part. We will make diplomatic efforts to safeguard national security. Upholding our country’s sovereignty, security and development interests is the paramount principle in the policy of one country, two systems.
Seeking to contain China’s development, some external forces have attacked the central government’s policies towards Hong Kong, intervened in the law-based administration of the SAR government, and talked down Hong Kong’s prospects in spite of evidence to the contrary.
We will firmly guard against such interference that tramples on international law and the basic norms of international relations. Their attempts to damage Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability can never succeed.
We will serve the needs of the SAR through diplomatic channels. President Xi stressed that the central government fully supports Hong Kong in aligning with national strategies, in developing more extensive cooperation with the world, and in advancing reforms in an active and prudent manner.
We will use diplomatic resources to support the SAR in closer cooperation with other parts of the world, and to help the SAR unleash greater potential by dovetailing with national strategies such as the 14th five-year plan, the Greater Bay Area and high-quality Belt and Road Initiative cooperation. International stakeholders should all pitch in to build a better Hong Kong and pursue a win-win outcome.
We will follow the principle of people-centred diplomacy and safeguard the well-being of Hong Kong people. Putting people first is the secret code of China’s effective governance and a core value of the Chinese diplomatic corps.
Our office will do everything in our power to deliver benefits to Hong Kong people. We will continue to make it easier for people with HKSAR passports to travel, improve the quality of our consular services, and spare no effort in defending the legitimate rights and interests of compatriots from Hong Kong.
We will create more opportunities for Hong Kong youth to step onto the global stage, heighten their sense of national pride and broaden their vision, and help them realise their ideals.
The journey ahead may be long and arduous, but with sustained action, we will eventually reach our destination. With the strong backing of the motherland and the institutional support of one country, two systems, Hong Kong is entering a new chapter of success. The blueprint for Hong Kong’s development is ready. It’s time to make a difference together.