Xi’s report provides ‘fundamental guidelines’ for HK, Macao work

ISLAMABAD: Xi Jinping’s report to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), which kicked off on Sunday in Beijing, serves as a fundamental basis and guideline for work related to Hong Kong and Macao, and the One Country, Two Systems – a great innovation of socialism with Chinese characteristics – should be adhered to for a long time, officials and experts said.

Although the practice of One Country, Two Systems has achieved widely recognized success since the two special administrative regions’ (SARs) return to the motherland, it also encountered some setbacks, especially during the social turmoil in Hong Kong in 2019.

General Secretary Xi Jinping and the Central Committee of the CPC made an assessment of the situation, took decisive steps and rolled out a series of measures that addressed both the symptoms and the root causes, including the implementation of the National Security Law for Hong Kong and electoral reform, to strike down the anti-China forces that disrupted the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and put an end to the history of the city not having “national security guards,” Xia Baolong, head of the State Council’s Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office, said at a Sunday group discussion with delegates from South China’s Guangdong Province  who are attending the 20th CPC National Congress.

Those measures pushed Hong Kong to transition from chaos to order and now toward prosperity, yielding a series of breakthroughs and significant results in Hong Kong and Macao-related work, Xia said.

At the opening session of the 20th National Congress of the CPC on Sunday, Xi stressed upholding and improving the policy of One Country, Two Systems. Xi said the policy is a great innovation of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and must be adhered to over the long term.

“We will fully, faithfully, and resolutely implement the policy of One Country, Two Systems, under which the people of Hong Kong administer Hong Kong and the people of Macao administer Macao, both with a high degree of autonomy. We will remain committed to law-based governance in Hong Kong and Macao,” Xi said.

“Such long-term adherence to the policy also dispelled some concerns in some sectors of Hong Kong society, including from some political forces with ulterior motives that often hype the so-called deadline of this policy,” Li Xiaobing, an expert on Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan affairs from Nankai University, told the Global Times on Monday.

The policy is considered a great innovation of socialism with Chinese characteristics, showing that this is the path that we have been exploring since the reform and opening up and that we will keep walking down this path, which has also become an important part of practicing the theory of socialism with Chinese characteristics, Li said.

The successful practice of One Country, Two Systems in Hong Kong serves as a positive example for national reunification in solving the Taiwan question, Tam Yiu-chung, a member of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress from Hong Kong, told the Global Times on Monday.

Since the 19th CPC National Congress, the CPC Central Committee has fully executed full-scale governance in line with the Constitution and the Basic Law in firmly safeguarding the sovereignty, national security and interests of development, and protecting the long-term stability of Hong Kong, Tam said. “Any act of challenging the bottom-line of One Country, Two Systems and any act of secession will not be tolerated,” he said.

In the report, Xi said we will ensure that the central government exercises overall jurisdiction over the two regions, and that Hong Kong and Macao are administered by patriots.

Some experts said these points are also experiences accumulated during the past five years in practicing One Country, Two Systems, including some new systematic explorations such as the implementation of the National Security Law for Hong Kong and the electoral reform that ensure only patriots administer Hong Kong.

The report thoroughly summarizes the practice of One Country, Two Systems and the historic achievements of Hong Kong’s transition from chaos to order. The report systematically elaborates on new concepts, new ideas and new strategies for upholding and improving One Country, Two Systems, and provides a fundamental basis and guideline for work on Hong Kong and Macao, Xia told the group discussion.

After Hong Kong experienced social turmoils, the COVID-19 outbreak in the past two years also heavily affected its economic recovery and people’s livelihood, posing new challenges for its future development. Also, Hong Kong’s position has been changing amid the escalating political wrestling between China and the US-led West. At this critical junction, the report lays out the direction for its future growth, experts said.

Zhao Chenxin, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission, said at a press conference on the sidelines of the 20th National Congress of the CPC on Monday that “we will fully support Hong Kong and Macao becoming deeply involved in the development of the Greater Bay Area, consolidate their international competitive advantages, and give Hong Kong and Macao broader development space and continuous growth momentum from the overall national development of the country.”

Mian Abrar
Mian Abrar
The writer heads Pakistan Today's Islamabad Bureau. He has a special focus on counter-terrorism and inter-state relations in Asia, Asia Pacific and South East Asia regions. He tweets as @mian_abrar and also can be reached at [email protected]

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