Hong Kong should seize historic opportunity in China's development plan
Published: Mar 09, 2021 02:10 PM
Photo taken on Oct. 24, 2019 shows a view of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge from the Ngong Ping 360 cable car in south China's Hong Kong. (Xinhua/Cheong Kam Ka)

Photo taken on Oct. 24, 2019 shows a view of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge from the "Ngong Ping 360" cable car in south China's Hong Kong. (Xinhua/Cheong Kam Ka)

As China embarks on a new journey to fully building a modern socialist country, a national blueprint has provided historic opportunities to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).

China's clear positioning and scientific planning for the HKSAR were reflected in a draft outline of the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) for national economic and social development and the long-range objectives through the year 2035, which was unveiled on Friday.

Hong Kong has a wide range of unique advantages in China's development. The plan stressed the HKSAR's important roles in sectors including finance, innovative technology, shipping, trade, professional services, intellectual property rights and cultural exchanges, and specifically highlighted its role in connecting domestic and international markets.

Coordinated development with the Chinese mainland will foster new growth drivers for Hong Kong. According to the plan, China will support Hong Kong in better integrating its own development into the overall national development on a larger platform, such as the joint building of the Belt and Road and the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, to name a few.

It should be noted that Hong Kong is facing multiple difficulties and challenges, such as income disparity, a homogeneous economy, the hollowing out of industries, and few opportunities for upward mobility. These issues become even more outstanding against the backdrop of a rapidly changing global economic landscape and increasingly fierce international competition.

Besides, Hong Kong's economy was in the doldrums as a result of the turbulence over the proposed amendment bill and the COVID-19 pandemic. Its economy slipped 6.1 percent last year, with the latest jobless rate spiking to 7 percent.

For Hong Kong, the only way out is to abolish the outmoded mindset and practice and embrace and grasp the historic opportunities of China's reform and opening-up in the new era.

A harmonious and stable social environment is the primary guarantee for Hong Kong to focus on its development. Over the past few years, the anti-China, destabilizing forces and radical localists in Hong Kong have taken advantage of the loopholes in the HKSAR's electoral system, attempting to grab power and administer Hong Kong through election manipulation, but only to have brought mishaps and chaos to the metropolis.

Such actions have put China's national sovereignty, security and development interests in serious jeopardy, severely disrupted Hong Kong's social stability and harmed the well-being of its residents.

Therefore, it is imperative to improve Hong Kong's electoral system. Only when the loopholes in the system are plugged can the Hong Kong public be assured of exercising their rights, and the HKSAR government focus on developing the economy and improving the people's well-being.

The National People's Congress, the country's top legislature, has deliberated important issues related to Hong Kong for two consecutive years, which will help end political disputes, refocus on development, and protect the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong.

With the support of the motherland, Hong Kong will take more solid and firm steps to regain stability from chaos, grasp the enormous and historic opportunities and fit in the national development blueprint for an even brighter future.
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