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Thursday, Jun 30, 2022

Forum hails HK's progress

Forum hails HK's progress

'One country, two systems' principle a boon for stability and prosperity of the region over the past 25 years.
The "one country, two systems" governing principle has been successfully implemented over the past 25 years in Hong Kong, providing the best guarantee for the city's long-term prosperity and stability, government officials and analysts said at a forum on Thursday.

"As a strong system of governance, 'one country, two systems' has stood the test of time and overcome many challenges. It is a pioneering initiative that has no precedent to follow. Its application entails an evolving process," said Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor.

She made the remarks at the Bauhinia Culture International Forum, which was held under the theme "One country, two systems: achievements and prospects". The event was held by Bauhinia Culture Holdings in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong has faced unprecedented challenges over the past few years. Without the central government's support, "one country, two systems" could have been derailed and the government paralyzed, Lam said.

"Hong Kong is now back on track, entering a new era of stability, prosperity and opportunity," Lam said, adding that she believes Hong Kong will enjoy greater political and economic stability going forward.

According to the World Competitiveness Yearbook 2022, Hong Kong has climbed two places this year to regain fifth place in the annual ranking of the world's most competitive economies, based on its policies and focus on sustainability.

Speaking at the same forum, Hong Kong Chief Executive-designate John Lee Ka-chiu said the implementation of "one country, two systems" is the "special and enlightened arrangement" that has guided the city's progress since 1997.

The city's incoming leader pledged to place more emphasis on promoting Hong Kong's legal system and judicial independence, which he regards as providing "the critical underpinnings" of "one country, two systems" over the past quarter-century.

The World Bank's Worldwide Governance Indicators said Hong Kong ranks second in Asia in terms of the rule of law. The Queen Mary University of London's International Arbitration Survey ranked the city as the world's third-most preferred location for arbitration.

"Hong Kong is the only common law jurisdiction in China. Our commitment to the rule of law, to judicial independence, is unassailable," Lee said. "It is the key to the confidence in Hong Kong, and our long-term prosperity and stability as an international financial and investment center."

Looking to the future, Lee believes that the "one country, two systems" principle enshrined in the Basic Law remains a key factor to achieving long-term prosperity.

The governing principle is not only the best solution to Hong Kong's historical problems, but also the best institutional arrangement to maintain the long-term prosperity and stability of the city after the handover, said Huang Liuquan, deputy head of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council.

Meanwhile, Liu Guangyuan, the commissioner of the office of the Foreign Ministry in Hong Kong, said the city is at "a critical stage for greater prosperity and effective governance."

"With a fresh look of great confidence, openness, inclusiveness and vitality, Hong Kong has proved to the world that 'one country, two systems' is feasible, workable and popular," Liu said.

Hailing "one country, two systems" as an unparalleled experiment in the world, Allan Zeman, chairman of the Lan Kwai Fong Group, said while the essence of the policy has remained unchanged since its implementation 25 years ago, it has never stopped evolving, enhancing and enriching in response to the actual needs and situation in Hong Kong.

He said that "one country, two systems" is not merely a "preset principle", but a "living principle" that lays the best foundation for Hong Kong to remain "an energetic and bustling international city".

Underpinning the steadfast implementation of "one country, two systems" is the principle of "patriots administrating Hong Kong", said Zeman.

He said that only through "patriots administrating Hong Kong" can constitutional order be established and maintained, and deeply rooted challenges addressed.
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