Hong Kong needs to focus on boosting economy

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/7/2 23:43:39

Hong Kong's special characteristics were on full display on July 1 as grand celebrations of the 20th anniversary of its return to China were staged. There were also demonstrations organized by opposition parties, but the scale of the two was vastly different. The Western media continued to pour cold water on "one country, two systems," albeit with limited influence.

In his address to mark the event, President Xi Jinping mentioned a "red line." He said that "any attempt to endanger China's sovereignty and security, challenge the power of the Central Government and the authority of the Basic Law of the HKSAR or use Hong Kong to carry out infiltration and sabotage activities against the mainland is an act that crosses the red line, and is absolutely impermissible."

In fact, after going through recent turbulent years, more and more people in Hong Kong have cast off their misguided views promoted by radical opposition forces that "freedom and democracy has no bottom line." A small number of people tried to challenge the Basic Law and the authority of the Central Government, but they didn't succeed. The Occupy Central movement didn't realize their goal, except to disrupt the city's normal life. A few lawmakers were disqualified after an oath-taking controversy.

Hong Kong's high-degree of autonomy must be based on a strong political bottom line, which people cannot cross. This principle has been recognized by Hong Kong society. Opposition forces in Hong Kong need to carry out their activities based on the law. But these forces are taking provocative moves to seek attention, advocating Hong Kong independence. They are making political trouble for Hong Kong.

Development is a fundamental issue for Hong Kong after reunification, and the city can get no benefit from creating sensational political agendas. With the changing global economic pattern, almost all countries, regions and industries are facing challenges, and Hong Kong is no exception.

Hong Kong has realized further development in the past 20 years, with its GDP per capita jumping from $27,000 to $45,000. However, adapting to the changing world economy is not an easy task for Hong Kong. Blaming politics for economic frustrations will only jeopardize the city's future development.

Hong Kong, in the past, functioned as an "intermediary" linking the Chinese mainland and the West in economy and politics. But with China's opening-up, the mainland is extensively connected with global markets, and Hong Kong's weakening role as the bridge is an irreversible trend.

However, Hong Kong has maintained its uniqueness, and "one country, two systems" ensures that the city will continue to constructively play the role of a "political intermediary" between the mainland and the West. Increasingly integrated with the mainland's economy, Hong Kong will have more mature conditions and better opportunities to function as an Asia-Pacific financial center.

The city should extricate itself from political turmoil and concentrate on boosting economic vitality as early as possible. Soaring property prices, unemployment and other livelihood issues are common among developed cities. With the mainland at its back, Hong Kong has advantages in addressing these problems. It should strive to tap its potential and avoid being distracted by political agendas hyped by a minority of people.

Hong Kong has a promising future. Young people there should have an independent mind and avoid being misled by the very few radicals and Western public opinion.

Posted in: EDITORIAL

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