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China's National People's Congress Improving the Electoral System of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is Constitutional, Lawful and Reasonable
2021/03/15

On March 11, the Fourth Session of China’s 13th National People’s Congress (NPC) adopted the Decision of the National People’s Congress on Improving the Electoral System of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). This is another major step taken by the Chinese central government in governing HKSAR after the enactment of the National Security Law, which is a milestone for the implementation of “one country, two systems”.

It is entirely constitutional, lawful and reasonable for the NPC to improve HKSAR’s electoral system. The Constitution of the People’s Republic of China clearly provides that the NPC has the power to decide on the establishment of special administrative regions and their systems. The electoral system is the core of the HKSAR’s political system, and the decision-making power of the system rests with the central government. Under the principle of “one country, two systems”, the Constitution and the Basic Law of HKSAR form the constitutional basis of the HKSAR. The systems and mechanisms that violate or even damage the basis of this constitutional system must be revised and improved.

The special administrative region system established under the HKSAR Basic Law follows the two principles of “Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong” with patriots as the mainstay and a high degree of autonomy under the authorization of the central government. Over the years, the anti-China rioters and “Hong Kong Independence” elements have capitalized on the loopholes and flaws in the current electoral system of HKSAR to jeopardize China’s national sovereignty, security and development interests, and undermine the constitutional order and effective governance of HKSAR. Therefore, it is imperative to take measures to revise and improve relevant systems and mechanisms, which is not only the power but also the responsibility of the NPC.

The purpose of improving the electoral system and putting in place the necessary safety valve this time is to ensure that the political power and governance of the HKSAR are firmly in the hands of patriots, thus providing a solid institutional guarantee for the steady and sustained implementation of “one country, two systems”. As a special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China, it is a basic political ethic that the governance of Hong Kong must be in the hands of patriots.

The focus of the improvement of the electoral system this time is to adjust and optimize the broadly representative Election Committee and give it new functions. In addition to electing the chief executive of the HKSAR, the Election Committee also has the power to elect some members of the Legislative Council and participate in the nomination of all candidates for the Legislative Council members. The main purpose of this adjustment is to build a democratic system with Hong Kong characteristics that suits Hong Kong’s actual conditions so as to improve the effectiveness of HKSAR government governance, fully unleash the vitality of Hong Kong society, and enable Hong Kong people to live and work in peace and contentment.

What needs to be pointed out is that the basis for the Chinese government to govern Hong Kong is China’s Constitution and the Basic Law, instead of the Sino-British Joint Declaration. The core essence of the Joint Declaration is to ensure Hong Kong’s return to the motherland. After the return of Hong Kong, the historic mission of the Joint Declaration has been completed. The British side has no sovereignty, governance or oversight over Hong Kong, and it has no so-called “responsibility” to the Hong Kong people. No foreign country or organization has the right to interfere in Hong Kong affairs or China’s internal affairs under the pretext of the Joint Declaration. Recently, at the 46th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, 71 countries made joint statements and more than 20 countries made separate statements, to support China’s positions and steps on Hong Kong-related issues and oppose other countries’ interference in Hong Kong affairs and China’s internal affairs. The voice of justice from the international community fully demonstrates who is right and who is wrong.

All the efforts we have made or are going to make, be it the enactment of the National Security Law or the improvement of the electoral system in HKSAR, all aim to uphold and improve the principle of “one country, two systems” and ensure its steady and sound implementation. There is no such thing as changing the “one country, two systems” principle. After the electoral system and rules are revised and straightened out, the “Hong Kong” ship, under the principle of “one country, two systems”, will brave the waves and sail far, and Hong Kong will embrace an even brighter future.

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