Says it is necessary to correct the mistake of those who have deviated from the original meaning of ‘one country, two systems’
President Xi Jinping and his entourage returned to Beijing on the afternoon of July 1 at the end of a threeday visit to Hong Kong. After the president’s plane took off, Zhang Xiaoming, director of the Central People’s Government Liaison Office in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), gave a speech summing up six important achievements made during the visit. One of them is that the president had “set the record straight” on the original intent of “one country, two systems”. Not surprisingly, many local commentators echoed Zhang’s views as they used the same phrase in their own interpretation of Xi’s speeches in Hong Kong. Hong Kong has been back under China’s sovereign rule for 20 years. Why did Xi reiterate the orig- inal intent of “one country, two systems” just now?
Setting the record straight means when the understanding of something has deviated from its original definition, it’s necessary to correct the mistake and bring the original definition and its real meaning back for the people to follow. Looking back at the past two decades, some politicians and the local media in Hong Kong have indeed gone astray with the definition of “one country, two systems”, particularly by stressing “two systems” at the expense of “one country”, to the point of misrepresenting the SAR in relation to the central government and rejecting the central authorities’ direct jurisdiction over Hong Kong.
As a number of political incidents had rocked Hong Kong society in recent years, such as the ill-advised protests against the State Council’s white paper reiterating Hong Kong’s constitutional status and the central government’s direct jurisdiction over the HKSAR; the opposition camp’s unconstitutional demands over Hong Kong’s political reform, which led to the illegal “Occupy Central” movement, and the rise of secessionism or separatism in the shape of “Hong Kong independence” and “local self-determination”. If the wrongs are not righted soon, Hong Kong’s exercise of “one country, two systems” would go astray and even backward.
Now, one may wonder, how Hong Kong should go about righting the wrongs and bringing the original intent of “one country, two systems” back. As Xi has said more than once in Hong Kong, the most crucial step to take is to fully and precisely understand and implement the “one country, two systems” principle.