BEIJING – Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday outlined the future of Hong Kong, which is firmly rooted in the central government’s goals.
“Hong Kong is now in a new phase of transition from chaos to governance and then from governance to prosperity,” Xi Jinping said at the swearing-in ceremony of new Hong Kong leader John Lee.
“The next five years will be crucial for Hong Kong to break new ground and launch new flights,” Xie said, according to an English translation published by state media.
Xi Jinping was the sole candidate for the post in the May election of Li, a loyal leader of Beijing.
Lee’s reign lasted five years and his inauguration coincided with the 25th anniversary of the transfer of the city to China from British rule.
On July 1, 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Hong Kong’s new President Xi Jinping attended the swearing-in ceremony. Xi Jinping presided over the ceremony on his first trip outside the mainland since the publication of the coup.
Justin China | Bloomberg | Getty Images
He noted in particular the goal of the 2nd Century of China, which is to build a modern, socialist country with a prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally prosperous and cohesive country by the 5th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. .
Xie: Hong Kong is not capable of chaos
Whether in achieving these national goals or in the “four hopes”, he repeatedly emphasized the role of “one country, two systems”.
The policy allowed Hong Kong to operate as a semi-autonomous region under Beijing’s rule, while having some legal and economic independence that other Chinese cities do not have.
Widespread in 2019, violent protests were initially sparked by proposed changes to the law that sought to allow extradition to China – another that many in Hong Kong claim is “one country, two systems”. “It’s against the rules.
On Friday, Xi Jinping spoke in relatively detail about the social unrest of the past few years.
“People have hardly learned that Hong Kong should not be destabilized and unable to see chaos,” he said. “There is a broad consensus that no time should be wasted on Hong Kong’s development and all interventions should be removed so that Hong Kong can focus on development.”
Hong Kong’s gross domestic product contracted in 2019 and 2020 as protests disrupted the local economy, even before the epidemic closed the city to foreign and mainland tourists. The region is one of the most important international financial centers in Asia.
Xi Jinping said Hong Kong had helped connect the mainland to the world and that the Chinese city was “irreplaceable” in terms of its “motherland” economic development. He noted that Hong Kong has played an important role in opening up China’s domestic markets.
“It is very free and open and continues to maintain its power in accordance with international regulations,” he said.
Hong Kong’s GDP improved in 2021 and grew by 6.4%. However, the economy contracted by 4% in the first quarter of this year as another wave of cholera and cholera control measures hit the city.
Lee: Restoring order from chaos
In remarks before Xi Jinping on Friday, Hong Kong’s new chief executive said “one country, two systems” is the foundation of maintaining Hong Kong’s long-term prosperity.
Lee named three notable protests between 2014 and 2019, saying “full support from central authorities” helped Hong Kong’s ability to overcome challenges.
The new Hong Kong leader added: “The rule of law is the foundation of Hong Kong’s success.” He said the implementation of Hong Kong’s national security law and changes to the electoral system were part of Hong Kong’s reconstruction that is “order from chaos”.
In 2020, China’s parliament passed a national security law that strengthens Beijing’s control over Hong Kong. An official English translation of the law said anyone acting in the name of “national unity” with Hong Kong’s mainland could face up to life imprisonment depending on the severity of the crime. Financing such activities is also a crime.