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Published: 16:16, July 02, 2022 | Updated: 19:32, July 02, 2022
Xi has 'set the tone' for 'one country, two systems'
By Shadow Li in Hong Kong
Published:16:16, July 02, 2022 Updated:19:32, July 02, 2022 By Shadow Li in Hong Kong

President Xi Jinping delivers a speech at the swearing-in ceremony of the sixth-term government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, July 1, 2022. (PHOTO / HKSAR GOVERNMENT)

Hong Kong’s political and business leaders are convinced that President Xi Jinping’s major speech at the special administrative region’s 25th anniversary celebrations on Friday have cleared doubts about “one country, two systems” and is a morale booster for the city.

They were speaking at a seminar held by the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the HKSAR on Saturday to study Xi’s speech delivered at the ceremony marking the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to the motherland, and the inauguration of the SAR’s six-term administration. About 200 prominent figures from all walks of life took part in the seminar in Wan Chai.

A seminar studying the important speech by President Xi Jinping delivered at a meeting marking Hong Kong's 25th anniversary of its return to the motherland is held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on July 2, 2022. (EDMOND TANG / CHINA DAILY)

Maria Tam Wai-chu, deputy director of Hong Kong’s Basic Law Committee, said President Xi’s speech pointed the way ahead for Hong Kong and has encouraged the city to stay true to the original aspirations of “one country, two systems”

Maria Tam Wai-chu, deputy director of Hong Kong’s Basic Law Committee, said Xi’s speech pointed the way ahead for Hong Kong and has encouraged the city to stay true to the original aspirations of “one country, two systems”.

She said Hong Kong’s democracy began after the handover in 1997, and the city has enjoyed a high degree of autonomy with Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong.

Only when governing power is kept firmly in the hands of patriots can the central government’s overall jurisdiction over Hong Kong be effectively implemented, with the city achieving long-term stability and prosperity and solving its deep-seated issues effectively, Tam said.

ALSO READ: President Xi's remarks motivate city

Starry Lee Wai-king, chairwoman of the city’s largest political party - the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong - said Xi’s speech has effectively cleared any doubts and misunderstanding over Hong Kong’s future as the president has stressed the need to maintain the city’s unique strengths and status multiple times.

It’s also clear that Xi’s message to the city is that only when “one country” is being firmly upheld, can “two systems” be given full play to, Lee said.

A group of residents bring the national flags to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to motherland at Tamar Park in Hong Kong.  (CALVIN NG / CHINA DAILY)

Starry Lee Wai-king, chairwoman of the city’s largest political party - the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong - said Xi’s speech has effectively cleared any doubts and misunderstanding over Hong Kong’s future

As to the “four expectations” laid down by Xi, she said the DAB will continue to better itself by upgrading its services to the community, improving its policy research and actively breeding political talents.

Executive Council Convener Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee agreed that Xi’s remarks have removed all shades of gray, and set a definitive tone for the future of “one country, two systems” as some Hong Kong people are worried about whether  the principle will end after 2047.

Stanley Ng Chau-pei, president of the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions, told the seminar the HKSAR’s new administration should be responsible for safeguarding “one country, two systems”, and that being "politically neutral” does conform to “one country, two systems” and would lead to the principle being distorted, as well as internal strife.

READ MORE: Xi's key speech boosts hope in future of Hong Kong

Jonathan Choi Koon-shum, permanent honorary president of the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce, said Xi’s speech will lift morale in the city’s long-term development

Jonathan Choi Koon-shum, permanent honorary president of the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce, said Xi’s speech represents a “pat on the shoulder” for Hong Kong’s business sector and will lift morale in the city’s long-term development.

Legislator Kenneth Fok Kai-kong said he shares Xi’s keen aspirations for Hong Kong when he laid down the “four expectations” - solving the city’s housing and medical problems, caring for the elderly and the young, as well as youth development. The SAR’s new administration should ponder about this, he said.

Fok hopes the new Culture, Sports and Tourism Bureau will draw up a blueprint for cultural development, putting a “new signature” on culture for the city.


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