President Xi's speech at the ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the Motherland provides authoritative requirements and unambiguous guidance for the road of future development for the SAR coming of age at 20. From now on, all works in the SAR including the government's governance, economic development, improvement of people's livelihood and social development must be carried out and advanced following President Xi's four-point opinion mentioned in his speech. Only in this way, can "one country two systems" be more comprehensively and accurately implemented, can the SAR march forward to create new splendour.
President Xi points out that it is imperative to have a correct understanding of the relationship between "one country" and "two systems". In conducting day-to-day affairs, we must be guided by a strong sense of "one country", firmly observe the principle of "one country", and thus correctly handle the relationship between the HKSAR and the central government. Any attempt to endanger national sovereignty and security, challenge the power of the Central Government and the authority of the Basic Law, or use Hong Kong to carry out infiltration and sabotage activities against the Mainland is an act that crosses the red line, and is absolutely impermissible.
President Xi also points out that we must both adhere to the "one country" principle and respect the differences between the "two systems", both uphold the power of the Central Government and ensure a high degree of autonomy in the HKSAR, both give play to the role of the Mainland as a staunch supporter of Hong Kong and enhance Hong Kong's own competitiveness. At no time should we focus only on one aspect to the neglect of the other.
In his four-point opinion, President Xi also mentions that Hong Kong is a plural society, so it comes as no surprise that there are different views and even major differences on some specific issues. However, making everything political or deliberately creating differences and provoking confrontation will not resolve the problems. On the contrary, it can only severely hinder Hong Kong's economic and social development. On the part of the Central Government, "we are ready to talk to anyone who loves the country, loves Hong Kong and genuinely supports the principle of ‘one country, two systems' and the Basic Law of the HKSAR, no matter what political views or position he or she may hold."
The president also mentions that it is imperative to always focus on development as the top priority. Hong Kong enjoys the backing of the Motherland and is open to the world. It therefore has many favourable conditions for development and distinctive competitive advantages. In particular, the nation's continuous and rapid development over the years provides an invaluable opportunity, an inexhaustible source of strength and broad space for Hong Kong's development. As a saying in Hong Kong goes, "After leaving Suzhou, a traveller will find it hard to get a ride on a boat" [meaning "opportunities never come twice" or "an opportunity missed is an opportunity lost"]. It is important to cherish the opportunity, seize it and focus your energy on Hong Kong's development.
The president's four-point opinion - to accurately understand and handle the relationship between the "one country" and "two systems", to adhere to handling affairs in accordance with the Constitution and the Basic Law, to focus on development and to safeguard a harmonious social environment – has a crucial bearing on the SAR's future development and Hong Kong people's overall well-being. The president has sent his blessing, lent his support and offered his planning, Hong Kong people must not miss the opportunity.
02 July 2017