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"Patriots Governing Hong Kong" Will Safeguardthe Implementation of "One Country, Two Systems"
2021/03/09

On March 4, the preliminary meeting of the fourth session of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC) decided to deliberate a draft decision on improving the electoral system of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), and authorized the NPC Standing Committee to revise and improve the electoral system of the HKSAR. This is a major event in the political life of the people in HKSAR, as well as a crucial step for the steady and sustained implementation of “one country, two systems”.

During the 150 years of the British colonial rule, there was no democracy in Hong Kong and its people did not even have the right to march on the streets. It was only after returning to the motherland that Hong Kong had really started democratic development. In accordance with the Constitution and the Basic Law and in light of Hong Kong’s realities, the Chinese central government has steadily promoted the development of Hong Kong’s democratic political system and ensured that Hong Kong residents enjoy unprecedented democratic rights and freedoms in accordance with the law.

However, in recent years, the electoral system of the HKSAR has shown some defects. With the support of some external forces, the anti-China rioters and “Hong Kong independence” elements have been trying to capitalize on these defects to challenge the constitutional order of the HKSAR and jeopardize the national sovereignty and security. In view of this, the Chinese central government believes it is necessary to revise and improve the electoral system of the HKSAR, and let patriots govern Hong Kong, so as to ensure the full and faithful implementation of “one country, two systems”. Hong Kong affairs are China’s internal affairs, which brook no external interference. The relevant decision has been echoed and supported by people from all walks of life in HKSAR.

It falls within the responsibility of the central government to revise and improve the electoral system of the HKSAR in accordance with China’s Constitution and the Basic Law. As China’s top legislature, the National People’s Congress exercises constitutional power at the state level. It has made one interpretation of the Basic Law of the HKSAR and four decisions on relevant issues. The revision and improvement of the electoral system of the HKSAR is to exercise the power and fulfill the responsibility of the central government within the framework of the Constitution and the Basic Law. The ultimate purpose of implementing the principle of “patriots governing Hong Kong” is to ensure the sound and smooth development of Hong Kong’s democratic system.

“Patriots governing Hong Kong” is the essence of “one country, two systems”. Since the return of Hong Kong to the motherland, the practice of “one country, two systems” has achieved universally recognized success. Meanwhile, it has also encountered many new problems and challenges. To ensure the faithful and steady implementation of “one country, two systems” in the right direction without disruptions or distortions, one important prerequisite is that those governing Hong Kong must fully and faithfully understand and implement the principle of “one country, two systems”. As the Chinese central government does not directly designate people to participate in the daily management of the HKSAR government, who are governing the HKSAR becomes even more important for the full and faithful implementation of “one country, two systems”. It is fair to say that upholding the principle of “patriots governing Hong Kong” is a major issue of principle that bears on the success or failure of “one country, two systems”. No compromise can be made on it.

As a special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China, it is a basic political ethic that the jurisdiction of Hong Kong must be in the hands of patriots. Is there any country in the world that would give the jurisdiction of any part of its territory to people who, from the bottom of their hearts, do not recognize or have no loyalty to the country and the people, and are willing to serve as political agents for external forces? Or is there any country in the world that would give the jurisdiction of any part of its territory to the hands of those who advocate or engage in separatist activities to undermine the fundamental interests of the country? Over the past 20 years and more since Hong Kong’s return to the motherland, facts have proved that a small number of anti-China rioters in Hong Kong will only bring destruction, turbulence and terror to Hong Kong. Only patriots can truly strive for the well-being of Hong Kong people, bring prosperity and stability to Hong Kong, and promote the common development of Hong Kong and the motherland.

It is also a common practice for the world to impose strict requirements on the patriotic stance and relevant political qualifications of its governors. In the United States, for example, there are strict requirements for political loyalty not only for officials but also for ordinary citizens. Only those who meet the standard of political loyalty could be admitted to public office. People running for public office in almost all countries and regions need to show their patriotism in various ways. They even try their best to prove that they are more patriotic than others. It is only in Hong Kong that some people use their betrayal of their motherland as a political “asset” to show off, and even use their opposition to the central government and demonization of their own nation as election slogans. Those people have completely lost even the most basic political ethics and the love to the country, thus becoming a laughing stock disdained by all. Therefore, upholding the principle of “patriots governing Hong Kong” is not a stringent standard but the bare minimum for implementing the principle of “Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong”. Such kind of requirement is not unique to Hong Kong, but is a universal rule.

Since the return of Hong Kong, the central government has been unswervingly promoting development of Hong Kong’s democratic system in a gradual and orderly manner in accordance with the Basic Law and the relevant decisions of the NPC Standing Committee, so as to ensure the Hong Kong residents enjoy democratic rights to the greatest extent. All the efforts we have made, be it the formulation and implementation of the National Security Law or the improvement of the electoral system, aim to uphold and improve the principle of “one country, two systems” so that it could enjoy steady and sustained development in the right direction. The vast majority of Hong Kong people have long had the tradition of loving the motherland and Hong Kong. The range of “patriots” has been and will always be extensive. We believe that with the support and concerted efforts of the patriots, Hong Kong will have an even brighter future.

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