Political leaders, experts respond positively to Xia Baolong's speech on 'patriots governing HK'
A symposium on improving the institutional framework of "one country, two systems" and implementing the fundamental principle of "patriots governing Hong Kong" was held in Beijing Monday (Feb. 22).
"Patriots governing Hong Kong" means that Hong Kong must be governed by patriots and the power of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) must be in the hands of patriots, said Xia Baolong, vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and head of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council.
Various political leaders, experts and scholars expressed approval for Xia's speech.
Most countries examine the qualifications of their election candidates and have some basic principles to ensure the candidates running for public office are patriots, said He Junzhi, deputy head of the Chinese Association of HK and Macao Studies. Many loopholes of HK's electoral system were exposed during the district council election in 2019, he said.
Responding to Xia's speech, Yu Guochun, member of the Standing Committee of the CPPCC National Committee and vice-president of the All-China Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese, said that the power of governance in the HKSAR must be in the hands of patriots, so the the "one country, two systems" system can be maintained with good order.
Tam Yiu-chung, member of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), said the principle of "patriots governing HK" has long been enshrined in the Basic Law. He added that President Xi Jinping already stressed this point when hearing CE's 2020 Work Report.
Patriots rule Hong Kong" is a principle and a bottom line that must be followed in the HKSAR electoral system, said Chan Man-ki, HKSAR's deputy to the NPC. She said that HK must adhere to the principle of "patriots governing HK" within the framework set by the Constitution and the Basic Law, so as to better integrate into the overall development of the country.
HK's achievements after its return to the motherland over 20 years ago has fully proved that "one country, two systems" is not only the best solution to the problems of HK, but also the most suitable institutional arrangement for HK to maintain its long-term prosperity and stability, said Yu Pengchun, member of the CPPCC Guangdong Provincial Committee.
"Patriots governing HK" is essential to further implementing the "one country, two systems" principle, he added.
The Business and Professionals Alliance for HK (BPA) also voiced firm support for the objective standards and requirements for "patriots ruling HK", as proposed by the central government.
Chairman of the BPA, Lo Wai-kwok, said that he hopes measures to improve the electoral system at all levels will be introduced as soon as possible, so as to ensure the healthy and smooth development of HK's democratic system.
Lo added that in recent years, some members of the LegCo have gone to great lengths to disrupt the legislative order while some opposition members have openly sought external forces to interfere with HK affairs, which seriously undermines the overall interests of HK society and even jeopardizes national security, running counter to the spirit of "patriots governing HK."
Lo said that the BPA also urged the SAR government to reinforce education on the Basic Law, the Hong Kong National Security Law and national identity, so that people can better understand and support the principle of "patriots governing HK."
Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong also respond positively to Xia's speech.
"'Patriots governing HK' is the essence of 'one country, two systems' and the original intent of the Basic Law, " they wrote in a Facebook post.
They agreed that the electoral system must be reformed in accordance with the "five principles" proposed by Xia. In addition, the oath-taking arrangements and patriotism education must be further carried forth, they said.