No external forces should point fingers at HK, Macao affairs: Xi

By Chen Qingqing in Macao and Zhang Hui in Beijing Source:Global Times Published: 2019/12/20 11:26:41 Last Updated: 2019/12/20 22:16:47

A gathering in celebration of the 20th anniversary of Macao's return to the motherland is held in south China's Macao, Dec. 20, 2019. (Xinhua/Li Tao)

After Hong Kong and Macao returned to China, handling affairs of these two special administrative regions (SAR) is absolutely China's internal affairs, thus any external forces should not point the finger at them, and we won't tolerate any external forces to interfere in Hong Kong and Macao affairs, Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Friday while delivering a speech at the ceremony celebrating the 20th anniversary of Macao's return to China and the inaugural ceremony of the fifth-term government of the Macao SAR.

The Chinese government and Chinese people's will to safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests are rock hard, Xi said.

His statement led to waves of warm applause.

Xi commended on the work of Macao SAR in the past 20 years. Macao firmly safeguarded the central government's comprehensive administration and used its high-degree autonomy in the right manner, enacting Article 23 of the Basic Law and the National Anthem Law, Xi said.

Xi shared Macao SAR's four experiences in successfully implementing "one country, two systems." They are the firm dedication to "one country, two systems," confidence in the political system to never get perplexed by external interference, recognizing that "one country" is fundamental of "two systems," highlighting responsibilities that Macao SAR should shoulder in line with the national development plan, and strengthening social fundamentals of "one country, two systems." The most important reason for Macao's successful implementation of "one country, two systems" is patriotism, Xi said.

Xi also proposed four expectations for Macao, which are to continue reforms and make administration more effective; push forward sustainable economic development to increase competitiveness; further improve livelihoods and actively respond to people's demands in improving healthcare, housing supply and education; and make "love the country, love Macao" continue being core values and enhances social consensus.

Xi's speech sends a clear message to the world that the confidence in implementing the "one country, two systems" principle won't be shaken, analysts said. Considering Hong Kong's turmoil in recent months, Macao's practice of the principle tells the world that China's SARs could successfully implement it, they said.

Successful experiences of implementing "one country, two systems" in Macao serve as a "reminder" for Hong Kong, indicating loopholes exist in Hong Kong's legal and judiciary systems that lead to weakening the way of safeguarding national security and sovereignty, analysts said. 

Return of Hong Kong and Macao to the motherland is an important step in realizing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, which is also the complete realization and standardization of China's sovereignty. It has natural and legitimate reasons to oppose any form of external interference, Tian Feilong, an expert on Hong Kong issues, told the Global Times on Friday.

For Hong Kong and Macao, the implementation of "one country, two systems" must safeguard China's sovereignty and security interests, Li Xiaobing, an expert on Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan at Nankai University, told the Global Times.

The two SARs serve as a bridge connecting and communicating with the world, and external political forces will surely make the most of it, Li said. 

Hong Kong is an example. The Hong Kong government failed to keep high vigilance in governance, which was taken advantage of by foreign forces who colluded with Hong Kong's secessionists, Li said. 

Xi reiterated the Chinese government's firm stance to safeguard China's sovereignty and security interests in his speech, which is basic governance direction for Hong Kong and Macao SARs, Li said.

Macao's experience in legislation on maintaining national security - including Article 23 of Basic Law - shows the weakness of Hong Kong, and enacting Article 23 is also the responsibility of the Hong Kong government. This is the basic goal for the SAR and basic task and respectability for governance of both SAR governments, Li said.

Before the speech, Xi oversaw the swearing-in ceremony of fifth-term chief executive of Macao SAR, the principal officials of the fifth-term Macao SAR government and members of the Macao SAR Executive Council.


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