My Blog

Three pillars of the ocean: Resolve difficulties of Hong Kong, good governance and strive ahead

14 March 2021

The Decision of the National People's Congress on Improving the Electoral System of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (the Decision) was adopted at the Fourth Session of the 13th National People's Congress in Beijing last Thursday (March 11). This is another major move taken by the Central Government to improve the laws and political system of Hong Kong, following the enactment and implementation of the Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (the National Security Law) last year. We are most grateful to the Central Government for taking the initiative once again to solve Hong Kong's problems at the national level. This is an urgent move to ensure the steadfast and successful implementation of “One Country, Two Systems”, a pragmatic move to promote Hong Kong's long-term prosperity and stability, and a much-needed move to lay a solid foundation for improving Hong Kong's electoral system. The Decision is of great significance in breaking new ground for Hong Kong and opening a new chapter in its history.

Patching up the loopholes and deficiencies of Hong Kong's electoral system, the Decision puts in place institutional safeguards to ensure full implementation of the principle of “patriots administering Hong Kong”, thereby upholding the Central Authorities' overall jurisdiction over Hong Kong and effectively safeguarding political stability and authority of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). With due consideration given to the actual situation and overall interests of Hong Kong, this significant move aims to ensure that Hong Kong can stay true to the original aspiration in implementing the principle of “One Country, Two Systems” and get Hong Kong back on the right track.

A constitutional, legal, reasonable and proper move

It is imperative for the Central Authorities to take the lead in improving the electoral system in Hong Kong. Such a move is in line with the principle of administering Hong Kong in strict accordance with the law and manifests the obligation of the Central Authorities to effectively exercise overall jurisdiction over Hong Kong. The political structure of the HKSAR, of which the electoral system is an essential component, is the prerogative of the Central Authorities. The Decision, made in accordance with Article 31 and Articles 62(2), 62(14) and 62(16) of the Constitution of the People's Republic of China (the Constitution) as well as the relevant requirements of the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (the Basic Law) and the National Security Law is fully constitutional, legal, reasonable and proper.

By no means a retrogression of democracy

Under “One Country, Two Systems”, the constitutional order of Hong Kong is founded upon the Constitution and the Basic Law. An electoral system that cannot safeguard “One Country, Two Systems” and our constitutional order is unsustainable and unacceptable. I would like to stress that the democratic system of a country must accord with its constitutional order and actual situation, and no democratic system should impinge on national security. This is true for all countries. As the actual situation in Hong Kong had become deeply worrying, the Central Government had “no choice but to intervene” in order to rectify and improve the electoral system in Hong Kong. This is not a retrogression of democracy or an attempt to limit political participation, nor is it aimed at kicking out certain political advocates or having all candidates “in the same suit”. Premised on the basis of love for our motherland and Hong Kong, anyone can enjoy the right of political participation in accordance with the law.

Three pillars of the ocean intertwine and work as one

Long-term prosperity, stability and safety are the common aspirations of all Hong Kong people. The National Security Law passed on June 30, 2020 is a pillar of the ocean that safeguards national security, sovereignty and development interests, while serving the overall interests of Hong Kong and the fundamental well-being of its people and rebuilding their confidence. The National Security Law has plugged the gaping hole in national security since the reunification, improved the “One Country, Two Systems” regime, thereby ensuring the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong, and expediting its recovery and revival. The Decision just passed, the “Outline of the 14th Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development of the People's Republic of China and the Long-Range Objectives Through the Year 2035” (the 14th Five-Year Plan) and the National Security Law constitute three pillars of the ocean that intertwine and work as one in support of the long-term development, prosperity and stability of Hong Kong.

Clearing up political haze

The Decision is another pillar of the ocean that resolves at root the problems relating to Hong Kong's political system and restores order from chaos. In the past year or so, Hong Kong has experienced the most severe political challenges since its return to the motherland. The constitutional development of Hong Kong, especially the loopholes and gaping hole in its electoral system, have become the pawns of those opposing the Central Authorities, stirring up disorder in Hong Kong and intending to achieve “mutual destruction”. They tried to take hold of the governance power by entering the political regime of the HKSAR through elections. Foreign governments and legislatures have also interfered in Hong Kong's affairs which are squarely China's internal affairs. We need to find the ultimate solution to end this chaos and get Hong Kong back to the right track. One must know the causes of the disease before coming up with the cures. The Decision is not only a cure for Hong Kong's electoral system, but also a clear pointer to the specific way forward for the constitutional development applicable to Hong Kong, which helps wind down chaos and clear up haze on the political front.

A new milestone for the Legislative Council

The purpose of improving the electoral system is to ensure that Hong Kong is administered by patriots. I have to point out that in such a pluralistic and open society as Hong Kong, it is absolutely natural to hear diverse views in the Legislative Council (LegCo), which is by no means a “rubber stamp”. Under the principle of “One Country, Two Systems”, the improved electoral system will mark a new milestone for the LegCo, creating conditions for rational interaction, amicable discussion and dialogue with mutual trust, as well as accommodating different stances to achieve a win-win situation. Individuals or political parties of various political beliefs serving in the legislature will, in the overall interest of Hong Kong, continue to perform the constitutional functions of monitoring the Government for the well-being of Hong Kong people and the development of Hong Kong.

Full co-operation of the HKSAR Government

The HKSAR Government will render full co-operation in improving Hong Kong's electoral system. There will be extensive publicity to foster a correct understanding of the Decision among the general public, local and foreign media as well as the international community. In response to untrue claims, the HKSAR Government will timely dispel rumours and clarify facts to avoid misunderstanding. Besides, strenuous efforts will be made to ensure early completion of the local legislative procedures as well as smooth and orderly running of the various important elections scheduled for the next 12 months.

Integration into the country's overall development

We welcome the passage of the 14th Five-Year Plan by the National People's Congress. Hong Kong's fate and future will be shaped with its better integration into the country's overall development. The 14th Five-Year Plan is the blueprint and action agenda for the social and economic development of the country in the next five years. I can tell for sure that the plan will serve as a pillar of the ocean for Hong Kong to ride on the wave of the country's development and scale new heights.

The Central Government cares much about and attaches great importance to Hong Kong. The part concerning Hong Kong and Macao in the 14th Five-Year Plan states from the outset that to maintain the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong and Macao, it is imperative to fully and faithfully implement the “One Country, Two Systems” principle; uphold the constitutional order as enshrined in the Constitution and the Basic Law; uphold the Central Authorities' overall jurisdiction over the Special Administrative Regions (SARs); implement the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the SARs to safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests of the nation and the social stability of the SARs; and resolutely prevent and curb interference by external forces in the affairs of Hong Kong. In this connection, all government officials and civil servants have pledged by way of taking an oath or signing a declaration in accordance with the law to uphold the Basic Law, swear allegiance to the HKSAR and be responsible to the HKSAR Government. The HKSAR Government is also amending the law to include a requirement for all District Council members to swear to uphold the Basic Law and pledge allegiance to the HKSAR in accordance with the law. We will also gradually define officers of certain statutory bodies as “public officers” and require them to confirm in writing or take an oath to uphold the Basic Law and pledge allegiance to the HKSAR in accordance with the law.

In the meantime, the 14th Five-Year Plan continues to incorporate the HKSAR in various areas. We are profusely thankful for the Central Government's strong support for maintaining Hong Kong's long-term prosperity and stability and providing an historic opportunity for the future development of Hong Kong. The 14th Five-Year Plan also enables Hong Kong to complement the country's overall development strategies under “One Country, Two Systems”. The plan has included the support for the development of a high-quality Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA), the support for building Hong Kong as an international innovation and technology hub, enhancing the city's status as an international aviation hub, and developing Hong Kong into an exchange centre for arts and culture between China and the rest of the world.

The GBA development is the entry point for Hong Kong to integrate into the country's overall development. Hong Kong will actively fuse into and fully participate in related developments, and seize the important historical and new opportunities that cannot be missed in the further reform and opening up of the country. Hong Kong will also capitalise on its strengths to serve the country's needs and play its vital role as a “participant” in domestic circulation and a “facilitator” in international circulation in the country's economic development.

A multi-pronged approach to enhance national awareness and patriotism

The 14th Five-Year Plan states that education on the Constitution, the Basic Law and national development should be strengthened, and national awareness and patriotism among Hong Kong and Macao people should be enhanced.

Based on the principle of “One Country, Two Systems”, the Constitution and the Basic Law form the constitutional basis of the HKSAR and provide the strongest safeguard for the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong. They are hence an important part of national education. To this end, the HKSAR Government will step up promotion and publicity to help the public correctly understand the Constitution, the Basic Law and the National Security Law through various channels.

Shouldering the future of Hong Kong, our young people should love the country and the city, be determined and brave to win honour and make contribution to the country, and have a strong sense of pride as nationals of the People's Republic of China. The HKSAR Government attaches great importance to nurturing the younger generation. We hope that our young people will become quality citizens with positive values and attitudes who are knowledgeable, socially responsible, equipped with a sense of national identity, a love for Hong Kong and an international perspective, and will contribute to our country and society. We strive to enhance public understanding of national development, particularly national security, through school education and other channels. In this regard, a series of promotional and educational activities will be rolled out on the National Security Education Day next month (April 15). Besides, we will enhance students' awareness of their national identity and develop their sense of belonging to the country by fostering their understanding of national development in areas such as history, geography, culture, economy, technology, political structure and legal system through the relevant curricula. We will also enhance training on national affairs and related exchange activities for civil servants.


Our country will remain the strongest backing for Hong Kong. Not only will it help us rise to challenges, but it will also continue to offer new starting points and inject new impetus for our future development. In a new era when Hong Kong is integrating into the overall national development and coming to a critical juncture of “relaunch”, the key to the continual success of Hong Kong is the presence of a stable social environment. With the strong support of the Central Government, the HKSAR Government will work with all sectors of Hong Kong to build a harmonious and stable society and move forward together to ensure the steadfast and successful implementation of “One Country, Two Systems”. In this way, Hong Kong will be able to regain its vitality and shine again.