Hong Kong youth leader: One country is the prerequisite for two systems
By Yuan Yuan  ·  2022-06-29  ·   Source: Web Exclusive


A light show in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, on June 25. This year marks the 25th anniversary of its return to the motherland (XINHUA)  

The 25-year practice of the One Country, Two Systems policy in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) is a unique exploration of an innovative governance framework. The quarter-century journey wasn't all smooth sailing, though, especially with the turmoil and chaos in 2019 which exposed some misconceptions about the policy. 

"One country is the premise of the two systems, but the latter for a long time received more attention—before and after Hong Kong’s return to the motherland,"  Henry Ho, founder and Chairman of the One Country Two Systems Youth Forum, told Beijing Review.  

"Most reports and discussions have centered on what will not change in Hong Kong for 50 years, including the capitalist system and way of life, whereas the major change, i.e., Hong Kong being reunited with the motherland, didn't get due attention," he said.  

This biased approach has resulted in some misconceptions about the policy. The implementation of the Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (Hong Kong national security law) and the Improving Electoral System (Consolidated Amendments) Bill in the region in the past two years marked two major steps in the implementation of One Country, Two Systems, and both have yielded positive results, Ho commented. 

"After the Hong Kong national security law was enacted in June 2020, social order in Hong Kong soon returned to normal and there has been no further disorder since," Ho said. "A range of new measures have enhanced citizens' awareness of national security in HKSAR." 

Ji Pengfei,Director of the Hong Kong and MacaAffairs Office of the State Council from 1983 to 1990 and Chairman of the Drafting Committee for the Basic Law, said at the Third Session of the Seventh National People's Congress in 1990, "The political structure of HKSAR should accord with the principle of One Country, Two Systems... Consideration must be given to the interests of the different sectors of society and a democratic system that suits Hong Kong’s reality should gradually be introduced." 

Ho echoed Ji's words and said the new electoral system, introduced in 2021, has created a new outlook for HKSAR. So far, the Election Committee elections, which took place in September 2021, the Legislative Council election in December 2021, and the HKSAR chief executive election this May were all conducted and concluded in an orderly manner.  

"Candidates spent more time outlining and elaborating on the manifesto rather than quarreling with each other as they did during previous competition," Ho said.  

Copyedited by Elsbeth van Paridon   

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