Voice in Legco
Voice in Legco - Embracing Spirit of 20th National Congress to Further Develop Hong Kong

Last month, the Legislative Council passed a motion on “Embracing the spirit of the 20th National Congress to further develop Hong Kong”. This is a critical juncture when China embarks on a new journey to build itself into a modern socialist country in all respects while the international situation is changing rapidly, prompting the legislature and the government to embrace the spirit of the 20th National Congress in order to leverage the positioning that the country has set for Hong Kong to truly kickstart a new era where the SAR shifts to stability and prosperity.


The 20th CPC National Congress report comprehensively summarized the development achievements of the past five years and presented key policy roadmaps for China’s modernization over the next decade. For Hong Kong, we must not only follow Section 13 on “upholding and improving the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ policy and promoting national reunification” to learn and implement the fundamental guidelines and actions specially formulated by the country for the cause of ‘One Country, Two Systems’ in Hong Kong, but also identify the role that Hong Kong can play in the country’s modernization drive by analyzing the connotation of Chinese modernization contained in the full text of the 20th CPC National Congress report.


Fully, faithfully and resolutely implement “One Country, Two Systems”

The Central Government has always attached great importance to and supported Hong Kong’s development. The 20th CPC National Congress report stated that the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ policy, which is the best institutional arrangement for ensuring sustained prosperity and stability in Hong Kong after its return to the motherland, must be adhered to over the long term. This is another assurance for Hong Kong after President Xi Jinping’s important speech delivered in Hong Kong on 1 July. Nevertheless, it is noteworthy that, in the CPC constitutional amendments unanimously passed at the 20th National Congress, it is added that the “One Country, Two Systems” policy should be “implemented fully, faithfully and resolutely”. This addition, which was not included five years ago, is a direct response to the turmoil in Hong Kong in the past. The amendments also outlined in the CPC constitution how Hong Kong should advance the cause of “One Country, Two Systems”. Going forward, Hong Kong must improve the systems for implementing the “One Country, Two Systems” policy, including implementing the laws and enforcement mechanisms for safeguarding national security, and further ensure that it is governed by patriots by extending the oath-taking arrangement to publicly-funded statutory bodies and persons holding key positions in public affairs that exercise public power. At the same time, as the “One Country, Two Systems” principle is a great innovation of socialism with Chinese characteristics, it must abide by the major principles of the country’s modernization to implement a people-centered philosophy of development in “growing its economy and improving its people’s lives to resolve deep-seated issues and problems in economic and social development”. The Administration must better combine the effective government and efficient market to improve the standard of governance and continuously strengthen the momentum of economic development, and focus on addressing housing, elderly care and healthcare issues that are of most concern to the public.


Leverage Hong Kong’s strengths to contribute to national modernization

Judging from its full text, the 20th CPC National Congress report has defined “the CPC’s central task in the new journey of the new era, which is to build China into a modern socialist country in all respects and advance toward the second centenary goal to take forward the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts with Chinese modernization”. And “the essential requirements of Chinese modernization are as follows: upholding the leadership of the CPC and socialism with Chinese characteristics, pursuing high-quality development, achieving common prosperity for all, promoting harmony between humanity and nature, building a human community with a shared future, and creating a new form of human advancement.” Hong Kong not only has the required ability and expertise, but should also show commitment for the new journey. In my view, Hong Kong should focus on three fronts. The first is to actively integrate into the overall national development, align with the strategy of rejuvenating the country through science and education, realize Hong Kong’s “eight centers” positioning as set out in the “14th Five-Year” Plan, and deepen the development of the Greater Bay Area; the second is to fully leverage its strengths to help drive the progress of dual circulation and the “Belt and Road” Initiative in the country’s higher-level opening-up to the rest of the world; and the third is to fulfil its exemplary role in practicing “One Country, Two Systems”, telling the story of both Hong Kong and China well to promote the peaceful reunification of the two sides of the Taiwan Strait in order to achieve the common aspiration of all Chinese people.


The country’s modernization concerns the prospects for Hong Kong’s development and the lives of all Chinese people, including those in Hong Kong. And as part of China, Hong Kong must participate in the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.


This is a free translation. For the exact meaning of the article, please refer to the Chinese version.

Should you have any comments on the article, please feel free to contact Mr Martin Liao.
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