20 years on, Hong Kong enjoys robust growth, people's livelihood improved: Cambodian experts

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/6/21 9:41:33

Since its return to China 20 years ago, Hong Kong has been enjoying rapid economic development and people's livelihood has been improved, Cambodian government official and experts said.

On July 1, 1997, the Chinese government resumed the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong, and Hong Kong returned to the embrace of the motherland and embarked on the broad road of common development with the Chinese mainland.

What Hong Kong has achieved since it returned to China in 1997 has truly demonstrated unity and solidarity among the Chinese people, according to Phay Siphan, Cambodia's secretary of state and spokesman for the Council of Ministers.

Noting that Hong Kong is an international financial and trade hub, he predicted Hong Kong's economy will grow even stronger in the future with the policy support from the central government.

Commenting on the principle of "one country, two systems," Siphan said the principle has delivered prosperity and stability to Hong Kong and the people there.

"One country, two systems" is a basic state policy the Chinese government has adopted to realize the peaceful reunification of the country.

The policy has ensured Hong Kong's smooth return to the motherland on July 1, 1997, and at the same time, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) was established and the Basic Law came into effect. Hong Kong entered a new epoch characterized by "one country, two systems," "Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong" and a high degree of autonomy.

The implementation of the "one country, two systems" principle in the Hong Kong SAR has achieved widely recognized success.

Chheang Vannarith, chairman of the Cambodian Institute for Strategic Studies, said Hong Kong's return to China has produced very positive outcomes in terms of economic integration, people-to-people connectivity and institutional harmonization.

"Hong Kong's economy has become more connected with the region and the world, and Hong Kong people have benefited," he told Xinhua.

Sharing his view on the practice of "one country, two systems" in Hong Kong, Chheang Vannarith said it "works well and produces concrete results."

Joseph Matthews, director of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Education Center, said that in the beginning, there were a lot of skepticism with regard to the "one country, two systems" principle.

"Despite all the speculations and Sinophobia, China remains committed to its commitment and has kept 'one country, two systems' intact successfully in the last two decades," Matthews said.

"Even though it was a unique idea and this kind of experiment has never been done before, and the odds against its success were very high, but strong unwavering determination by Beijing has made this impossible possible and triumph," he added.

The expert said the principle has helped Hong Kong preserve its identity as a free market economy and the living standards of Hong Kong residents have also been improved under this principle.

Mey Kalyan, chairman of the state-run Royal University of Phnom Penh's board of trustees, said Hong Kong was like a Chinese child adopted by a foreigner, adding that like it or not, it needed to be reunited with the parents.

In this process, the principle of "one country, two systems" has been working well and over the past 20 years Hong Kong people have enjoyed a normal life, he said.

Posted in: HK/MACAO/TAIWAN

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