July 1 this year marked the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the motherland and the inaugural ceremony of the sixth-term government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR). Chinese President Xi Jinping attended the celebratory meeting as well as the inaugural ceremony.
In the quarter-century since its return, Hong Kong has maintained overall prosperity and stability. Figures showed that Hong Kong's share in global exports of goods rose from 2.98 percent in 1997 to 3.1 percent in 2020; it took third place across the world in paid-in capital, and ranked fourth in outward direct investment in 2020, much higher than in 1997.
Backed by the strong support of the Central Government, Hong Kong has remained resilient even after taking heavy hits from the Asian financial turmoil, the global recession and the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the World Competitiveness Yearbook 2022 published by the Switzerland-based International Institute for Management Development, Hong Kong ranked fifth globally, up from seventh last year. The development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area will unleash further advantages and boost the two-way exchanges between Guangdong and the SAR.
Over the past two years or so, the enforcement of the national security law in Hong Kong has brought stability back following social unrest in 2019. The new electoral system has been fully implemented, and the principle of Hong Kong patriots governing Hong Kong has been consolidated. This has enabled the SAR to complete the transition from turmoil to order and launched it into a critical stage for greater prosperity and effective governance.
The fact that Hong Kong has managed to weather unrest and difficulty demonstrates that as long as the Constitution and the Basic Law of Hong Kong SAR are observed, Hong Kong will continue to showcase its vitality under the principle of One Country, Two Systems.
(Print Edition Title: Stability and Vitality)