China’s top legislature, National People’s Congress (NPC) on Tuesday, March 30, voted unanimously to adopt the amended Annex I and Annex II to the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).
The two annexes concern the method for the selection of the HKSAR Chief Executive and the method for the formation of the HKSAR Legislative Council and its voting procedures, respectively.
The two documents bear profound and significant importance for adhering and improving the principle of “one country, two systems,” and safeguarding the HKSAR’s constitutional order as defined in the Constitution and the Basic Law. They will also improve the region’s electoral system, promote the development of a democratic system that suits Hong Kong’s present situation, ensure long-term stability and prosperity of Hong Kong, and help safeguard China’s sovereignty, security and development interests.
Countries must make solid their mechanisms and institutions to achieve governance and bring orders to the people.
In recent years, especially since the amendment bill disturbance in 2019, the chaos in the Hong Kong society has mirrored obvious loopholes and deficiencies of the HKSAR’s electoral system.
Authorized by the Decision of the NPC on Improving the Electoral System of the HKSAR, the Standing Committee of the NPC amended the Annex I and Annex II to the Basic Law according to legal procedure and based on extensive consultation. By doing this, China has timely plugged the loopholes and ensured the principle of “patriots governing Hong Kong.”
The amended Annex I and Annex II highlight the principle of “one country, two systems” under which the people of Hong Kong administer Hong Kong with a high degree of autonomy and run Hong Kong affairs according to law. They help Hong Kong improve its governance efficacy, reflect balanced political participation, come in line with Hong Kong’s actual conditions, and enjoy solid legal ground and extensive public support. The righteous move is a necessary step to advance Hong Kong’s democratic system, and a fundamental way to preserve long-term stability and prosperity of the “one country, two systems” principle.
General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee remarked that Hong Kong can only maintain its long-term stability and security by ensuring “patriots governing Hong Kong.”
In the governance structure of the HKSAR, those on important positions, holding important powers and shouldering important governance responsibilities must be pure patriots. This time, by improving the HKSAR’s electoral system and establishing necessary safety valves, China is practicing the principle of “patriots governing Hong Kong” to ensure that the power to administer Hong Kong is firmly put in the hands of patriots, so as to offer solid institutional guarantee for the long-term stability of the “one country, two systems” principle.
According to the amended Annex I and Annex II, an Election Committee which is broadly representative, suited to the actual situation of the HKSAR, and represents the overall interests of society will be set up in Hong Kong. It will be endowed with new functions and adjustments will be made to the method for the selection of the Chief Executive of the HKSAR and the formation of the Legislative Council. This will establish a new democratic electoral system with Hong Kong characteristics that safeguards national sovereignty, security, development interests and the long-term stability of Hong Kong, and ensures the implementation of the principle of “patriots governing Hong Kong, balanced political participation, and improvement of Hong Kong’s governance efficacy.”
Patriots governing Hong Kong doesn’t mean to erase all differences in Hong Kong. It means that unpatriotic people are not allowed to find their way into the HKSAR’s body of power, so as to prevent the HKSAR from becoming a base for anti-China and external forces intending to subvert the country’s state power. Any one that wants to run in election and meets the criteria of a “patriot” can join the election and be elected in accordance with law.
Besides, based on the adjustments made to seats, composition, and method of formation of the Election Committee, the amended electoral system has expanded Hong Kong residents’ political participation and enriched the forms of democracy, which will better help reach the goal of safeguarding the fundamental and overall interests of Hong Kong residents and realizing high-quality democracy and social equality.
The policy to develop a democratic system suited to Hong Kong’s actual situation, reflecting balanced political participation of the Hong Kong society, and promoting the overall interests of the Hong Kong society and the well-being of the people, has never been and will never be changed. China will also remain resolute to practice the “one country, two systems” principle.
Both the vital force and authoritativeness of laws lie in implementation. By making more detailed regulations on Hong Kong’s electoral system, the NPC Standing Committee ensured its legislative intentions and offered a basis for the HKSAR to amend local laws.
Next, the HKSAR shall, according to the amended Annex I and Annex II to the Basic Law, amend local laws, and organize and manage relevant election activities in accordance with law, so as to safeguard the stability of Hong Kong’s political system.
The principle of “patriots governing Hong Kong” conforms to the “one country, two systems” policy, and only patriots can manage Hong Kong well. It is believed that as Hong Kong improves its electoral system, and led by patriots; the HKSAR will definitely get back to the right track, concentrate on deep-level problems, develop economy and livelihood, and realize quality governance that has been long expected by the society. It will also start again and embark on a bright path of long-term stability, where it will create a better future as the Pearl of the Orient and write new chapters of the “one country, two systems” policy.