Xi praises new electoral system, highlights Hong Kong’s democratic path

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Photo: Global Times

Chinese President Xi Jinping met Carrie Lam, chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, in Beijing on Wednesday for her annual report trip, two days after the successful conclusion of the Legislative Council (LegCo) elections, which ushered in a new era for local authorities. governance.

As the city went through a transition from chaos to stability, the central government put in place new requirements for the local governance team, expecting it to speed up the integration of the Chinese city into the plan. development after the days when Hong Kong was used as a beachhead by the US-led West to incite a color revolution against China has ended.

Over the past year, Hong Kong has consolidated the achievements in law enforcement and the situation has steadily improved, Xi said, adding that the region has achieved notable results in responding to the crisis. COVID-19, steadily recovered its economy and maintained social stability.

Lam led the Hong Kong SAR government to make systematic changes and improvements to Hong Kong’s electoral system in accordance with the relevant decision of the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the relevant legislation of the Standing Committee of the APN, Xi said.

Xi said the Election Commission and Seventh LegCo elections held under the new electoral system were both successful, with democratic rights of Hong Kong residents reflected, the principle of “patriots running Hong Kong. “implemented and a political landscape established with a broad and broad balanced participation of all social groups and all constituencies.

This was the first annual service report delivered by Lam in person to Xi since the end of 2019, as the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020 posed unprecedented challenges to the city, and Xi heard the report from Lam’s 2020 service in January via video link. Xi also stressed at the January meeting that the Hong Kong SAR must be ruled by patriots.

Eleven months later, Lam delivered her service report to the president in person, and she also offered “a fairly satisfactory performance review” in implementing the principle of patriot-only governance, some experts and officials said, noting that Hong Kong has entered a new era after the adoption of the Hong Kong National Security Law and the adoption of electoral reform.

With these two pieces of legislation filling system and governance loopholes, future new administrative and legislative governance teams are expected to meet the higher expectations of central government to achieve social and economic reforms by actively responding to public concerns and resolving issues. deeply rooted issues such as housing shortage, lack of opportunities for young people and widening wealth gap.

New era

Xi stressed during the meeting with Lam that Hong Kong has followed an unusual path over the past 20 years, which has fully demonstrated that the principle of “one country, two systems” helps safeguard the fundamental interests of the country, the city. and Hong Kong people. The central government will steadfastly continue to pursue this policy, and with the improvement of the system, the “one country, two systems” will play its advantages more.

While Hong Kong’s national security law effectively prevents the city from being used as a place to incite secessionism and incite chaos, electoral reform, which ensures that those who rule the city are patriots, transforms the LegCo in a place to push for policies of a platform allowing radical anti-Chinese lawmakers to challenge sovereignty or create problems for their own political gain.

And Lam’s work to fully implement the Hong Kong National Security Law and Electoral Reform was highly recognized by Xi at the meeting.

Xi praised his work because the full implementation of these two laws has significantly improved the democratic order in Hong Kong. From a system point of view, these changes go a long way to smoothing relations between administrative and legislative authorities and forming a consensus regarding the further integration of Hong Kong into the national development plan, Tian Feilong told the Global Times on Wednesday. , associate professor at the Faculty of Law of Beihang University.

“In response to the demand that Xi mentioned in January, Lam has done a good job,” Tian said, noting that these changes also set the political basis for the city’s overall social and economic restructuring and development.

As Hong Kong’s political and social environment has entered a new stage characterized as rational, secure and fair, it is time for lawmakers and government officials to work on concrete issues to better understand and support the new system. election by the public, some experts and officials said. . And the future CEO and legislators of LegCo must not only be patriotic, but also able to push forward difficult reforms to solve deep-rooted problems.

Before the meeting with Xi, Premier Li Keqiang met with Lam, expressing the central government’s steadfast support for the city’s future development, expecting Hong Kong to be integrated into the national development plan to offer more great scope for its growth as an international financial hub, commercial hub and maritime hub.

New requirements

Although there has been speculation whether Lam, who has been praised by the central government for her work to lift Hong Kong society out of the political dilemma and social unrest, will stand again, she told reporters. at a press conference on Wednesday that his only goal in Beijing this time “is to hand in the annual duty report.”

“I have no other schedule or plans for my future,” she said.

“I think the next CEO will be the one who takes on the challenges and is ready to tackle deep-rooted issues that had not been resolved in recent years – for example, to improve housing conditions. it would also be the person who faces interference from the US led West, as some western countries are unlikely to stop containing China in the next 10 years, ”the former president of LegCo Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai, who is also a member of the Candidate Eligibility Panel Review Committee, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

It is important to note that there are many opportunities ahead. The new team should put their personal gains and losses aside and dedicate themselves to serving the people of Hong Kong, Fan noted.

While the pro-establishment camp now occupies a dominant position within the LegCo, with 89 out of 90 lawmakers from the camp, there are also higher demands on their ability to govern and advise, some experts have said.

In the past, the first priority of the pro-establishment camp was to prevent the authority of governance from being seized by radical rioters and anti-Chinese lawmakers in order to push back the Color Revolution, Tian said, Noting that as the National Security Law for Hong Kong and electoral reform have solved these issues, the camp faces the new task with higher demands.

“It will also be a test of their ability to serve the city and the country, which will be more overseen by the central government,” he said.


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