Keep ‘one coun­try, two sys­tems’ steady and straight ahead

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - COMMENT -

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping said in his short speech upon ar­riv­ing in Hong Kong on Thurs­day the im­ple­men­ta­tion of “one coun­try, two sys­tems” must be kept steady in or­der to last. And he ex­plained why and how in later speeches dur­ing his three-day stay in the city.

On Fri­day af­ter­noon, the pres­i­dent met with rep­re­sen­ta­tives of var­i­ous sec­tors of Hong Kong so­ci­ety and noted that what the SAR should be con­cerned about is not whether “one coun­try, two sys­tems” would change, but rather how to ex­er­cise the “one coun­try, two sys­tems” prin­ci­ple fully and pre­cisely. To do so, it’s nec­es­sary to justly treat, ra­tio­nally an­a­lyze and proac­tively ad­dress any new is­sue or prob­lem aris­ing from the ex­er­cise of “one coun­try, two sys­tems”, which will keep ad­vanc­ing de­spite dif­fi­cul­ties and ques­tions.

At the wel­com­ing din­ner given in his honor by the SAR govern­ment on Fri­day, Xi said Hong Kong com­pa­tri­ots have ev­ery rea­son to be con­fi­dent about them­selves as Chi­nese cit­i­zens, about Hong Kong their home and about the coun­try.

Some local res­i­dents lack con­fi­dence in the coun­try or Hong Kong be­cause they lack con­fi­dence in the Chi­nese na­tion. By con­fi­dence in one­self, he means all peo­ple of Chi­nese de­scent should be proud of and con­fi­dent about the Chi­nese na­tion. He said the Chi­nese are a great peo­ple, and the Chi­nese civ­i­liza­tion dates back more than 5,000 years and is the only an­cient civ­i­liza­tion in the world that has con­tin­ued till this day with­out in­ter­rup­tion. He also praised Hong Kong’s de­vel­op­ment from an ob­scure fish­ing vil­lage into a world-fa­mous cos­mopoli­tan city, say­ing it’s the crys­tal­liza­tion of in­dus­tri­ous­ness and ded­i­ca­tion of gen­er­a­tions of pre­dom­i­nantly Chi­nese Hong Kong peo­ple. He rec­og­nized and thanked Hong Kong com­pa­tri­ots for their sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tions to the coun­try’s re­form and openingup all these years. Those are the rea­sons why Hong Kong res­i­dents should see them­selves as mem­bers of the Chi­nese na­tion.

Many local res­i­dents are los­ing con­fi­dence in Hong Kong be­cause they were led to be­lieve the city is los­ing its ad­van­tages and unique place in the world. That is why the pres­i­dent called for con­fi­dence in Hong Kong, with par­tic­u­lar em­pha­sis on the unique ad­van­tages, such as the sys­tem ad­van­tage of “one coun­try, two sys­tems”, which com­bines the ben­e­fits of the main­land mar­ket and de­vel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties with new av­enues of business growth emerg­ing from the coun­try’s ef­forts to open fur­ther to the outside world for Hong Kong to take ad­van­tage of. He en­cour­aged the SAR to strengthen and el­e­vate those ad­van­tages, which will surely help at­tract more in­vest­ments and tal­ents amid fierce competition in the re­gion, as well as in the world. Cap­i­tal and tal­ent are the most im­por­tant re­sources for knowl­edge-driven eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, which de­pends on in­no­va­tion. To keep Hong Kong’s econ­omy grow­ing and write new chap­ters of the suc­cess story, the city must have con­fi­dence in its abil­ity to rein­vent it­self.

As for con­fi­dence in the coun­try, the fo­cus is on ad­dress­ing some local res­i­dents’ prob­lem in ac­cept­ing the na­tional iden­tity and some oth­ers’ re­fusal to rec­og­nize the Peo­ple’s The au­thor is a se­nior re­search fel­low of China Ever­bright Hold­ings.

One can­not stress enough the im­por­tance of se­cur­ing the fu­ture by prop­erly pre­par­ing the younger gen­er­a­tion for ad­min­is­ter­ing the HKSAR ac­cord­ing to the Ba­sic Law and the “one coun­try, two sys­tems” prin­ci­ple.

Repub­lic of China. It is those mis­con­cep­tions that have given rise to separatist pur­suits dis­guised as “lo­cal­ism”. By call­ing for con­fi­dence in the coun­try, Xi means local res­i­dents should un­der­stand that Hong Kong can­not ex­ist with­out the coun­try, whose well-be­ing is vi­tal to the city’s pros­per­ity.

With con­fi­dence in one­self, in Hong Kong and in the coun­try, the pres­i­dent has shown us from his­tor­i­cal and re­al­is­tic per­spec­tives why “one coun­try” is the ba­sis of and pre­cedes “two sys­tems”. Hong Kong so­ci­ety must keep that in mind in or­der to keep the ex­er­cise of “one coun­try, two sys­tems” steady and straight ahead.

On Satur­day morn­ing, Xi em­pha­sized the above point again in his speech at the swear­ing-in cer­e­mony for the lead­ing mem­bers of the fifth-term HKSAR Govern­ment, in­clud­ing new Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Car­rie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and all the prin­ci­pal of­fi­cials, and in cel­e­brat­ing the 20th an­niver­sary of the es­tab­lish­ment of the HKSAR. He re­it­er­ated that from the statu­tory and po­lit­i­cal point of view, “one coun­try” is the foun­da­tion on which “two sys­tems” ex­ists. “Hong Kong has once again been part of the na­tional gov­er­nance sys­tem since the day China re­gained sovereign rule over the city. The cen­tral govern­ment main­tains di­rect ju­ris­dic­tion over the HKSAR ac­cord­ing to the na­tion’s Con­sti­tu­tion and the Ba­sic Law of the HKSAR. Thus, the spe­cial ad­min­is­tra­tive re­gion sys­tem is es­tab­lished,” he said.

The younger gen­er­a­tion is a cru­cial part of keep­ing the ex­er­cise of “one coun­try, two sys­tems” steady and straight ahead. To drive this no­tion home, Xi said on Thurs­day at a meet­ing with lead­ing of­fi­cials of the ex­ec­u­tive and leg­isla­tive wings and the ju­di­ciary, that the SAR govern­ment must “guide young peo­ple in fol­low­ing the great tra­di­tion of lov­ing Hong Kong as well as the coun­try”. Ap­par­ently, one can­not stress enough the im­por­tance of se­cur­ing the fu­ture by prop­erly pre­par­ing the younger gen­er­a­tion for ad­min­is­ter­ing the HKSAR ac­cord­ing to the Ba­sic Law and the “one coun­try, two sys­tems” prin­ci­ple.


On a sunny day when the over­cast sky has fi­nally cleared up, sev­eral doves line up on a lamp­post by the sea in Sai Wan un­der blue skies and wan­der­ing clouds.

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