No one cares more about Hong Kong’s democracy and prosperity than the central government: Wang Yi

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Photo taken on July 1, 2020 shows Golden Bauhinia Square after a flag raising ceremony hosted by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government in Hong Kong, southern China. (Photo: Xinhua)

The upcoming electoral reform in Hong Kong does not address the issue of democratic processes in Hong Kong, a senior Chinese official said on Sunday, refuting some criticism in Western countries and regions, including the United States and the EU, on reform, claiming that neither side cares more about democratic development, stability and prosperity of the city than the central Chinese government.

Improving Hong Kong’s electoral system and implementing the principle of “patriots ruling Hong Kong” is a constitutional, legitimate, fair and reasonable act, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Sunday. a press conference on the sidelines of the two current sessions. In Beijing.

Improving the city‘s electoral reform is a legitimate step in accordance with the Chinese Constitution, and improving the system and implementing the principle of “patriots ruling Hong Kong” is a real-time necessity to advance the “one country, two systems” principle. Wang said at the press conference, noting that the move is also the execution of power and responsibility authorized by the country’s highest legislature.

“In colonial times, Hong Kong had no democracy. Twenty-four years after the return from Hong Kong, no side cares more about the democratic development, stability and prosperity of the city than the central Chinese government, ”Wang said.

The remarks came amid growing criticism in the West over the recently unveiled draft decision to overhaul Hong Kong’s electoral system by the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s highest legislature, during the two sessions in January. course with the aim of correcting the existing shortcomings and effectively implementing the political principle of the only “patriots ruling Hong Kong”.

In the detailed draft decision released at the opening of the NPC’s annual session, China’s highest authority outlined the main steps for amending the legislature related to the Basic Law by exercising constitutional rights under the “one country, two systems” baseline, redefining the constitutional order of Hong Kong as one of China’s special administrative regions (SARs) and hinting at future measures, including broader public participation and a full review of candidates for local elections.

However, such action, described by senior Chinese officials as constitutional and legitimate, has been interpreted by some Western media such as Reuters and Bloomberg as the “end of Hong Kong’s democratic dream road” and the “rejection of democratic institutions. “. The move was also criticized by the EU and the US, saying the reform plan broke “commitments” made by the Chinese central government to maintain Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy and that it s was a “direct attack” on its democratic processes. .

A question of subversion

“This is not a question about the democratic process in Hong Kong, it is a question of subversion,” Tam Yiu-chung, member of the AFN Standing Committee of the Hong Kong delegation, told the Global Times on Sunday. , noting that this was also a point of view he spoke about when Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng met with Hong Kong delegates to the AFN on Sunday morning.

After meeting with Hong Kong members at the 13th Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) on Saturday and Carrie Lam, Hong Kong Managing Director, Han Zheng, who is also a member of the Standing Committee of the Party Central Committee Bureau Chinese Communist and head of the Central Working Group on Hong Kong and Macao, met with Hong Kong MPs at the 13th NPC on Sunday morning to discuss a range of issues that included loopholes in regional governance, anti- epidemic and imminent political reform in Hong Kong.

Since Hong Kong’s return to the motherland, democracy in Hong Kong has gradually developed, Tam said, referring to remarks he made when meeting with the top Chinese official. However, due to the interference of outside forces, democratic processes have deviated from the basic tenets of “one country, two systems”, especially as some people have used “democracy” as an excuse to get along with them. anti-Chinese foreign forces to obstruct Hong Kong. government to implement policies and stir up social unrest, Tam noted.

“They also pleaded for ‘independence for Hong Kong’ and tried to separate the city from the mainland, which is no longer a question of democracy,” he said.

Chan Yung, a Hong Kong NPC MP who attended the meeting with Han, was also impressed with the understanding of senior central government officials regarding democratic processes in Hong Kong. Han hoped Hong Kong would be a true democratic society ruled by law, and he cited the Capitol Hill riots in the United States as an example, saying that [no one] was held responsible for similar acts endangering national security [in Hong Kong] due to the absence of Article 23 of the Basic Law, ”he said.

The implementation of the National Security Law for Hong Kong in 2020 was aimed at closing gaps in this sector, while electoral reform would make the city stable and prosperous in the long run, Chan told the Global Times.

“Compared to the Capitol Hill riots, the storming of the Legislative Council and the vandalism of public facilities in Hong Kong during the social unrest in 2019 was much more serious, and what is wrong with us to resolve our own systematic problems? The critics in some western countries are purely doing double standards, ”Tam said.

No end for democratic processes

While some Western media have described electoral reform, following the detention of 47 anti-government politicians, some of whom are former lawmakers and district advisers to the Legislative Council, as Beijing’s crackdown on “pandemocratic parties and different voices ”and used it as a so-called strong argument that Hong Kong’s democracy is coming to an end, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi reiterated that for officials and people in public office, pledging loyalty to their own country is a basic political ethical standard.

“This is also the case with Hong Kong. Since Hong Kong is part of China as a special administrative region, loving Hong Kong goes hand in hand with loving China,” Wang said.

However, among the 47 arrested for subversion, some radical political figures such as former MP Wong Yuk-man and Tam Tak-chi, vice chairman of the pandemocratic group People Power, have openly pleaded for cracking down on the CCP leadership, calling it of “tyranny”, and some were acting as “black hands” behind the social unrest that lasted for months in 2019 in an attempt to cripple the power of authority, which plunged the city into a deep recession.

The Chinese central government has advanced Hong Kong’s democratic processes in accordance with the current situation. In more than two decades, Hong Kong hasn’t done its job very well, it’s to blame. And the priority for the city is to get back to normal, Elsie Leung Oi-sie, former deputy director of the Basic Law Committee, told reporters on Sunday.

“Electoral reform is not a leap forward for Hong Kong democracy,” she said.


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