Officials work on details to bring HK civil servants to mainland posts
Published: Jun 29, 2021 08:22 PM
Hong Kong File photo

Hong Kong File photo

While the Hong Kong Secretary for the Civil Service urged Hong Kong civil servants to adapt to the local governance reshuffle and has communicated with the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council and Guangdong Province to implement the exchange program for civil servants soon, authorities are still discussing the detailed arrangement of the program, a senior official told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Patrick Nip, Hong Kong's civil service chief, told media on Monday that the city government has communicated with mainland authorities to make local civil servants take temporary positions in the mainland soon. 

In a previous Legislative Council session, Nip proposed on working with mainland authorities to enhance training for Hong Kong civil servants, media reported. It was considered a necessary and urgent task for Hong Kong officials to enhance capabilities in handling difficult situations. 

Some of the Hong Kong civil servants have been getting used to the administrative traditions left from the colonial era, stubbornly adhering to "procedural justice" and bureaucratic process but lacking the proper judgment in a complex political environment; they sometimes misunderstand the "one country, two systems," Tian Feilong, a member of the Beijing-based Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies, told the Global Times on Tuesday. 

Coming to take temporary positions in the mainland will help Hong Kong civil servants deepen their understanding and recognition of the "one country, two systems," as well as about the Constitution and the overall political system of China to make them loyal while enhancing their governance capability, Tian said. 

A senior mainland official familiar with the matter told the Global Times on Tuesday that Hong Kong and the mainland are still working on the details of the exchange program, without giving any details about the program. 

During the Hong Kong social turmoil in 2019, some civil servants took part in anti-government protests and even riots, which raised public doubts about the loyalty of government officials. 

Since the implementation of the principle of "patriots governing Hong Kong," all civil servants have been required to take the oath of being loyal to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government and the Basic Law. 

On February 23, the HKSAR government revealed that a draft amendment on public officers stated that district councilors shall be required to take an oath of upholding the Basic Law and pledge allegiance to the city. Otherwise, they will be disqualified and banned from participating in elections for five years.

"The exchange program will help cultivate the backbone force of the patriots who govern Hong Kong," Tian said, noting that it should also be a two-way exchange, which means mainland officials could have equivalent opportunities to work temporarily in Hong Kong to enhance mutual understanding.