Hong Kong's destiny closely bound with motherland China


Hong Kong's destiny closely bound with motherland China

Tian Qi

Sunday, October 06, 2019

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Hong Kong, officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) of the People's Republic of China, is a special administrative region in southern China. Hong Kong became a colony of the then British Empire after the Opium Wars in the 19th century. China resumed its sovereignty over Hong Kong in 1997. After its return to China as a Special Administrative Region, Hong Kong maintains separate executive, legislative, and judicial systems from those of mainland China under the principle of “one country, two systems”.

With strong support from the Chinese Central Government, Hong Kong remains as a free port and territory with separate customs. In areas such as the economy, finance, shipping, communications, tourism, culture and sports, Hong Kong maintains and develops relationships with countries, regions and relevant international organisations on its own under the name “Hong Kong, China”. So, Hong Kong is part of China, and Hong Kong affairs are China's internal affairs.

Development of Hong Kong closely tied up with that of motherland

Before its return to the motherland, Hong Kong developed well since the late 1970s. The major reason is that China started to open up from 1978, and Hong Kong leveraged its strengths to serve the motherland's needs. Indeed, Hong Kong benefited from its rapid development by being able to take on some of the functions as the front office in some sense. When foreign investments wanted to access the Chinese market, the easiest stopping point initially was to do it from Hong Kong.

Ever since Hong Kong's return to the motherland, China has been backing it whenever there were difficulties. The strong support from the Chinese Central Government helped Hong Kong survive the case of the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997. The SARS epidemic in 2003 is another example, as well as the 2008 financial crisis.

The Chinese Central Government has been committed to supporting the Government and chief executive of Hong Kong in exercising law-based governance, uniting and leading the people of all sectors in an active and concerted effort to promote development and harmony, ensuring and improving people's well-being, taking well-ordered steps to advance democracy, and maintaining law and order.

The motherland will continue to support Hong Kong in integrating its own development into the overall development of the country, and will give priority to regional cooperation and development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, thus fully advancing mutually beneficial cooperation between the mainland and Hong Kong. We will formulate and improve policies and measures to make it more convenient for people from Hong Kong to develop careers on the mainland.

Stability and order should be restored to ensure Hong Kong's future development

After Hong Kong's return to the motherland, the policies of “one country, two systems”, “Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong” and a high degree of autonomy have been fully and successfully implemented in strict compliance with China's Constitution and the Basic Law of the HKSAR, while the legal system and open economy in Hong Kong are well-preserved. The freedom, human rights record and integrity of officials in Hong Kong have been recognised as among the best in the world as Hong Kong residents have been enjoying unprecedented rights and freedoms. These achievements should be cherished.

However, recent developments over the past three months or so have veered off the normal track. With the instigation and indulgence of external forces and anti-China forces attempting to destabilise Hong Kong, radical forces and violent offenders in Hong Kong flagrantly disrupted social order, vandalised public facilities, attacked the police and left a trail of smashed or burned items all over the city.

These actions have gone far beyond the scope of marches or assemblies. They have trampled on the bottom line of morality, crossed the bottom line of rule of law, and challenged the bottom line of “one country, two systems”.

Ending violence and chaos and restoring order have become the widest consensus and the strongest appeal of all social sectors in Hong Kong. The Chinese Central Government firmly supports the HKSAR Government in governing by law, supports the Hong Kong police in strict and just law enforcement, and supports the Hong Kong judicial organs in bringing violent criminals to justice according to law.

Maintaining the long-term prosperity and stability in Hong Kong is the strong will of all Chinese people, including 7.5 million Hong Kong residents, which will by no means be shaken by the very small group of violent protesters or altered by any interference of foreign forces. We are confident that, with the support of the Central Government of China and under the leadership of the HKSAR Government and Chief Executive Carrie Lam, Hong Kong will bring violence to an end and restore law and order at an early date.

Hong Kong, the “oriental pearl”, will once again shine brightly.

— Tian Qi is the Chinese Ambassador to Jamaica

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