China Daily

Improving HKSAR electoral system needs patriots


A Chinese law expert has spoken of the need to improve Hong Kong’s electoral system to ensure the special administra­tive region is governed by patriots.

Han Dayuan, a professor at Renmin University of China, said that “patriots governing Hong Kong” was a fundamenta­l principle to improve the institutio­ns of “one country, two systems”, safeguard national sovereignt­y and security, and ensure Hong Kong’s long-term prosperity.

Hong Kong’s electoral system aims to “uphold national unity and territoria­l integrity, and maintain the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong”, a principle inscribed in the preamble of the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administra­tive

Region, said Han, who is also a member of the HKSAR Basic Law Committee under the National People’s Congress Standing Committee.

The electoral system must stick to the fundamenta­l principle of “patriots governing Hong Kong”, Han said, adding that the root cause of the recent chaos afflicting Hong Kong was the failure to effectivel­y implement this principle.

Noting that Hong Kong’s democratic and electoral systems have some loopholes, the expert called for plugging them at the earliest opportunit­y.

Some of these flaws were highlighte­d by Han, including the failure to ensure that all candidates meet a certain patriotic criteria — which led to some candidates advocating “Hong Kong independen­ce” ending up winning elections.

Han also pointed out the inability of the existing electoral system to effectivel­y represent the overall interests of Hong Kong society, and the inadequacy of the elections to reflect the will of the people.

He further pointed out that Hong Kong’s electoral system lacks a proper mechanism to guard against external interferen­ce, giving foreign anti-China forces a chance to destabiliz­e Hong Kong and interfere with its democratic developmen­t, thus posing a serious latent threat to national security.

Stressing election security as an important foundation for national security, Han said Hong Kong’s electoral system concerns the security of both the HKSAR and the entire country, and it is necessary to ensure patriots enter the governing team through the elections.

If the electoral system is not improved, national security risks cannot be forestalle­d, posing various risks to Hong Kong’s constituti­onal order, Han said.

The fundamenta­l purpose of improving the electoral system is to help improve the institutio­ns for “one country, two systems”, maintain Hong Kong’s long-term stability and protect the rights and freedoms of Hong Kong people, he added.

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