‘One country, two systems’ a complex success

By Chen Shaobo Source:Global Times Published: 2017/6/27 19:53:39

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT



On June 21, China's State Council approved the appointments of principal officials of the fifth-term government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, the fifth-term chief executive of Hong Kong, made a public appearance for the first time. On the same day, some Hong Kong media reported that Christine Choi Yuk-lin, vice president of the Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers, would be appointed as deputy director of the Education Bureau, which immediately touched a sensitive nerve of the opposition parties in Hong Kong. They quickly launched attacks in the media, claiming that the central government wanted to use this appointment to brainwash young people in Hong Kong.

The events vividly show the complex and multi-faceted political relations between the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong.

Some people in Hong Kong took advantage of Choi's establishment position to once more raise the issue of "anti-national education," which clearly reflected their efforts to demonize education. They attempted to separate "one country" and "two systems," and regard Hong Kong's "high autonomy" as "full autonomy," which runs contrary to the central government's administration.

With its return to the motherland for 20 years, Hong Kong has already realized economic integration with the mainland. After 20 years of development, the position of Hong Kong in China's national strategy has shifted from the world's window into the mainland to the mainland's window to the rest of the world.

However, the political relations of the two are more complex and twisted than imagined. On the one hand, the central government's governance of Hong Kong, based on the Constitution and the Basic Law, runs smoothly. And the mainland has implemented real and effective governance in Hong Kong. In November last year, the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress gave its final interpretation of Article 104 of the Basic Law, and effectively suppressed separatists in Hong Kong.

On the other hand, there has always been a segment of people who do not agree, accept, or respect the political order in the mainland. Over the years, they have taken advantage of the existing electoral system to participate in Hong Kong's elections, grab more seats, and take up more political resources. They, step by step, pursue the right to govern Hong Kong. These people are not only against the Communist Party of China but also actively promote de-sinicization.

In the past 20 years, it becomes more and more obvious that the current political game in Hong Kong is the contest between the establishment who supports the return of Hong Kong to China and the opposition who embraces Western values. This competition will continue existing for a long time, and may even become more intense.

With the approaching 20th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to China, the Hong Kong government will definitely place high demand on the governance of Hong Kong. The central government continues to implement its governance over Hong Kong, promote the executive-led system with the chief executive at the core, enhance the national identity of the people of Hong Kong, and push for the integration of Hong Kong and the mainland. These are the basic requirements for safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development interests as well as maintaining Hong Kong's long-term prosperity and stability.

Viewing "one country, two systems," an innovative political practice, from a one-way angle will underestimate its complexity and rich connotations. To gain more accurate answers for the system, comprehensive, developing and multi-dimensional perspectives are required.

The author is a member of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Maca0 Studies. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn



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