No reason to change 'one country, two systems'; such a good system must be upheld over long run: Xi
Published: Jul 01, 2022 11:14 AM


Chinese President Xi Jinping stressed on Friday that the "one country, two systems" principle has withstood the test of practice and time, been supported by all Chinese people and recognized by the international society, and there's no reason to change such a good system, while delivering a speech at the ceremony celebrating the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the motherland and the inaugural ceremony of the sixth-term government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). 

In the speech delivered after the new HKSAR Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu and other key officials of the city were sworn in, Xi extended greetings to all Hong Kong residents, congratulating the new CE and other key officials as well as the Executive Council members. The President also thanked the people around the world for supporting the "one country, two systems." 

The "one country, two systems" principle is an unprecedented great initiative, and its fundamental purpose is to safeguard national sovereignty, security, development interests, and maintain the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong and Macao, Xi said, noting that what the central government has done is for the good of the country, HKSAR and Macao SAR as well as for the compatriots in the two places. 

Xi emphasized that the "one country, two systems" has been repeatedly tested in practice and is in line with the fundamental interests of the country and of Hong Kong and Macao. The principle has received the full support of more than 1.4 billion people of the motherland and endorsed by residents in the two SARs and generally recognized by the international community. 

"There's no reason to change such a good system, and we must uphold it for a long time," Xi said. 

After returning to the motherland, Hong Kong has overcome all kinds of challenges and moved forward steadily. Whether it was the international financial crisis, the COVID-19 epidemic, or social turmoil, those challenges haven't stopped Hong Kong's progress, Xi said, noting that over the past 25 years, Hong Kong's economy has flourished, its status as an international financial, shipping, and trade center has been solid. Innovative and technological industries have also emerged rapidly. 

Its freedom and openness rank high worldwide, and it enjoys the first-grade business environment around the world. The original laws, including the common law, have been maintained and developed. The Hong Kong society has progressed in an all-round way, and the overall social situation is generally stable. The dynamism of Hong Kong as a cosmopolitan city has amazed the world, Xi said. 

Over the past 25 years, the constitutional order of the SAR based on the Constitution and the Basic Law has been running steadily, the overall jurisdiction by the central authorities has been fully exercised. The SAR's high degree of autonomy has been properly exercised, Xi said. 

The national security law for Hong Kong was formulated and the electoral system was reformed and improved to ensure only patriots administering Hong Kong. The democratic system in Hong Kong is in line with the "one country, two systems" principle, the constitutional status of Hong Kong and is conducive to safeguarding the democratic rights of Hong Kong residents, Xi said, noting that it will help Hong Kong maintain prosperity and stability and unveil a bright future. 

Safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development interests is the top principle of "one country, two systems," and under this pretext, Hong Kong and Macao enjoy a high degree of autonomy, keeping their capitalist systems unchanged, the president said. 

On the principle of only patriots governing Hong Kong, Xi said no country or region in the world will allow unpatriotic or even traitorous or treasonous forces and figures to take power. To keep the power to administer the HKSAR firmly in the hands of patriots is essential for safeguarding the long-term stability and security of Hong Kong, and it must not be shaken at any time, he affirmed. 

Whatever ideas Hong Kong residents hold, as long as they truly uphold the "one country, two systems" and follow the Basic Law and other laws, they are all positive forces contributing to the city's development, the president said. 

Xi laid out four requirements for the practice of the "one country, two systems." Besides the implementation of the principle of only patriots governing Hong Kong, it is imperative to ensure both overall jurisdiction by the central authorities and a high degree of autonomy in the SAR.

Also, Hong Kong's unique position and advantages must be maintained. The central government handles Hong Kong affairs from a strategic and broad perspective, which has always been based on the fundamental interests and long-term interests of the country and Hong Kong, Xi said. 

Lau Siu-kai, a senior political adviser and deputy head of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies, told the Global Times that the key point of Xi's speech is attributing the successful practice of the "one country, two systems" to the implementation of an idea of taking Hong Kong as part of the country and as an important player of the country's development. 

"Without the idea of 'one country' and the respect of the Constitution, the 'one country, two systems' won't succeed," Lau said. 

After the ups and downs, we all know that Hong Kong must not be plunged into chaos as it is too costly, Xi noted. "We feel deeply that Hong Kong's development can't be interfered again, and it must ward off all disturbances and focus on development." 

In ending the speech, the president also extended the special attention to the youth. The future of Hong Kong youth is the future of the city, and the young people should be guided to understand the development trend of the country and the world deeply, and should enhance national pride, he noted. Authorities should help the youth fix a series of difficulties in study, employment, start-up and house purchase, Xi said.