Tung calls for bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of na­tion

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By SHADOW LI in Hong Kong stushadow@chi­nadai­lyhk.com

Vice-Chair­man of the Na­tional Com­mit­tee of the Chi­nese Peo­ple’s Po­lit­i­cal Con­sul­ta­tive Con­fer­ence Tung Chee-hwa urged Hong Kong peo­ple to im­prove their un­der­stand­ing of the na­tion’s con­cept of good gover­nance.

He also ad­vised them to rec­og­nize the Chi­nese main­land’s many achieve­ments in re­cent decades.

Tung said un­der­stand­ing these achieve­ments in terms of im­prov­ing gover­nance and eco­nomic growth would ben­e­fit Hong Kong’s de­vel­op­ment. Peo­ple in Hong Kong needed to ap­pre­ci­ate its in­te­gra­tion with the main­land and how this could solve prob­lems fac­ing the SAR.

Tung, a former chief ex­ecu- tive of Hong Kong, made the re­marks on Mon­day at a fo­rum hosted by Our Hong Kong Foun­da­tion — a lo­cal think tank founded and chaired by Tung.

He said Hong Kong’s fu­ture de­vel­op­ment and pros­per­ity is closely linked with that of the coun­try. Peo­ple in the city, there­fore, had good rea­sons to learn more about this, ad­vised Tung.

Through such un­der­stand­ing, Hong Kong peo­ple will re­al­ize that “One Coun­try, Two Sys­tems” is the best ar­range­ment for both the main­land and Hong Kong.

Tung stressed that this pol­icy had served the SAR very well. It, there­fore, de­served un­equiv­o­cal sup­port to safe­guard its im­ple­men­ta­tion.

The “One Coun­try, Two Sys­tems” pol­icy is a unique style of gover­nance em­braced by China. It also re­flected the coun­try’s con­fi­dence, mag­na­nim­ity and vi­sion. It had pre­served the way of life of Hong Kong peo­ple and pro­vided a peace­ful way to re­solve sovereignty is­sues be­tween China and Bri­tain, Tung noted.

He said there were many ways to mea­sure the suc­cess of a style of gover­nance. But the main fac­tor was the good it could bring to the coun­try and its peo­ple. This would ul­ti­mately help them pur­sue a bet­ter way of life, Tung ex­plained.

Com­par­ing China and In­dia, he noted that the two coun­tries both be­gan eco­nomic re­forms in the 1980s. But they had done this un­der two dif­fer­ent po­lit­i­cal sys­tems — as In­dia had adopted Western democ­racy. To­day, China had sur­passed In­dia in eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, with an an­nual GDP per capita stand­ing at five times that of In­dia’s.

But com­par­ing China and In­dia was not meant to be a den­i­gra­tion of the virtues of democ­racy, Tung stressed.

He added that claim­ing that democ­racy is mainly about con­tentious elec­tions was also mis­guided. When a sin­gle-minded in­sis­tence on com­pe­ti­tion politi­cizes ev­ery­thing and when peo­ple’s na­tional iden­tity is weak, such elec­tions can di­vide peo­ple. Then, so­cial con­flict could in­ten­sify and do a lot of harm, he ex­plained.

The fo­rum, themed “China To­day, Its Po­lit­i­cal Sys­tem and Mod­ern De­vel­op­ment”, is one of a se­ries of talks on the na­tion’s achieve­ments.

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