President Xi Jinping met with Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor in Shanghai on Nov 4, four days after the conclusion of the Fourth Plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. Two days later, on Nov 6, Vice-Premier Han Zheng received Lam in Beijing, where she also attended the third plenary meeting of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Leading Group, presided over by Han.
Two years ago, the 19th National Congress of the CPC emphasized, on the implementation of “one country, two systems”, the need to seamlessly combine the central government’s overall jurisdiction over the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the Macao SAR with the two SARs’ high degree of autonomy, in order to ensure the integrity and consistency of the “one country, two systems” principle and its implementation in the SARs. The Party will maintain its support for the SAR governments and chief executives in exercising law-based and proactive governance, uniting Hong Kong and Macao societies to pursue development, and social harmony, improve people’s well-being, maintain law and order and fulfill their constitutional obligations of upholding the sovereignty, national security and development interest of the country. It must also ensure “the people of Hong Kong governing Hong Kong” and “the people of Macao governing Macao” with patriots being the mainstay, and must continuously reinforce patriotic forces by nurturing patriotism and national awareness across local communities.
Hong Kong must do its best to make up for time lost due to the “black revolution” and resume its part in Bay Area development, keeping in mind the central government will always strongly support the SAR’s efforts to maintain prosperity and stability
Since then, the central government has been encouraging the HKSAR to further integrate its own development into the country’s overall development strategy by fully embracing the Bay Area development.
This year, anti-China and anti-CPC forces in Hong Kong, controlled, commanded and supported by their foreign masters, have launched an unprecedented illegal campaign that further fueled separatism and seriously disrupted Hong Kong’s integration into the country’s overall development. It has delayed the initial implementation of the Development Plan for the Bay Area unveiled in February, which calls for Hong Kong to be in agreement with its 10 partner cities in terms of basic rules and regulations.
In view of the situation, the Fourth Plenary Session of the 19th CPC Central Committee made significant adjustment to its strategy over the HKSAR to keep the “one country, two systems” exercise up to date. Simply put, to ensure the SAR’s integration to national development, the approach will shift from putting most emphasis on the economic front, to bolstering central authorities’ leading role in the affairs of the SAR, which will help Hong Kong easing itself to the national development plan.
The Fourth Plenary Session announced new political requirements, including improving the system of the central government exercising overall jurisdiction over the SARs according to the Constitution and the Basic Law of the HKSAR; improving the systems of the central government appointing chief executives and principal officials and of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee interpreting the Basic Law; establishing a sound legal system and enforcement mechanism in the SARs to safeguard national security; and improving the system for the chief executives to fulfill their political accountability to the central government. Politics are the manifestation of economy and in turn help sustain economic development. Aside from these new political requirements, the Fourth Plenary Session also instructed the two SARs to continue their involvement into the Bay Area development strategy and strive to integrate into country’s overall development as soon as possible.
As a matter of course, the premise for the SAR to carry out these requirements is to end the violence and riots immediately. Xi told Lam, ending violence and chaos and restoring order remain the most important task for Hong Kong at present. Xi demanded unswerving efforts by the SAR governmnet to stop and punish violent activities in accordance with the law in a bid to safeguard the well-being of the public in Hong Kong.
The CE and her team of principal officials must carry out Xi’s instructions faithfully and crack down on the “black revolution” soon. It is the only way for Lam and her governing team to lead the HKSAR back on the right track, as advised by Han.
Hong Kong must do its best to make up for time lost due to the “black revolution” and resume its part in Bay Area development, keeping in mind the central government will always strongly support the SAR’s efforts to maintain prosperity and stability.
The author is a senior research fellow of China Everbright Holdings.
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