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Lasting prosperity and stability in Hong Kong and Macao

Source: Understanding China -- 70 Years of Progress and Development Updated: 2021-01-19

Great changes are taking place in the new era. On February 18, 2019, the CPC Central Committee and the State Council issued guidelines on development in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, which will undoubtedly bring more opportunities for greater prosperity and development in Hong Kong and Macao.

In the 2019 Report on the Work of the Government, the Premier Li Keqiang says, "We firmly believe that Hong Kong and Macao will advance along with the mainland and will maintain long-term prosperity and stability". This shows the Central Government's confidence in the future development of Hong Kong and Macao. This confidence is based on strong development in the country as a whole, the CPC's political leadership, and the country's effective institutions as well as the strength of the "One Country, Two Systems" policy and the wisdom and abilities of the people in Hong Kong and Macao with regard to their own governance. 


Tourists at the Golden Bauhinia Square in Hong Kong 

Since their return, Hong Kong and Macao have been working together with the mainland in times of difficulty and in joint efforts in pursuit of development. Together, we fought off major risks and challenges such as the Asian financial crisis and the SARS epidemic. Favorable policies have been introduced to increase growth. These include a travel pass allowing more mainland residents to visit Hong Kong and Macao; the establishment of an offshore RMB market in Hong Kong; and the opening of the "Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect", "Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect" and the "Bond Connect". There are also supportive policies to help build a more diversified economy in Macao. In addition, a number of major projects have been completed to boost the economy in the region, such as the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Western Corridor, the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong high-speed rail, and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge. Looking to the future, we are confident about the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong and Macao. This is in the interest of the well-being of the eight million people in Hong Kong and Macao, and is the sincere expectation of the people of the mainland. 


Tourists at the Ruínas da Antiga Catedral de São Paulo in Macao 

We must adhere to the fundamental principle of "One Country, Two Systems", which sets the course for steady and long-term development in Hong Kong and Macao. This principle must be upheld regardless of the challenges and difficulties we might face. Under the "One Country, Two Systems" arrangement, one China is the bedrock principle. As China adopts a unitary system of government, the Central Government has full jurisdiction over all local administrative regions, including Hong Kong and Macao. While Hong Kong and Macao enjoy a high degree of autonomy as Special Administrative Regions, it is not an inherent right. It is exercised by the authorization of the Central Government and it is not complete autonomy, which means that the Central Government has the power to supervise it. Under no circumstances would this autonomy be allowed to serve as an excuse to counter the power of the Central Government. On the basis of this understanding, the "One Country, Two Systems" is faithfully implemented with a high degree of autonomy granted to Hong Kong and Macao so as to ensure that they are governed by their own people, strictly in line with the Constitution of the PRC and the Basic Laws of Hong Kong and Macao. In short, for long-term prosperity and growth in Hong Kong and Macao we must keep to the fundamental principle of one country while ensuring the effective functioning of the two systems. 

An additional impetus will contribute to economic growth in Hong Kong and Macao as they find their place in the grand "game" of national development. With their unique positions as China's gateways to the outside world, Hong Kong and Macao will play an important role in the development in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and will be an essential part of construction under the Belt and Road Initiative. Through this process, they will have broadened cooperation with the mainland and will count among the dynamic world-class cities in the region which are well-positioned in terms of international competitiveness. In the meantime, efforts will be made to create opportunities for people from Hong Kong and Macao to come and work in the mainland and advance their professional careers and pursuits in life. 

Soon after the performance of "My Chinese Heart" and "I am Chinese" by Hong Kong singers, the two songs immediately went viral in Hong Kong and in the mainland. They resonated powerfully with the people in Hong Kong, who are now part of the great Chinese nation. In order to realize the Chinese dream, we will need the people from Hong Kong and Macao among our ranks, those who love the country, love Hong Kong, and love Macao. The younger generation, in particular, will work together with people in the mainland in this drive toward national renewal and a prosperous and strong China, carrying with it a stronger sense of national identity and patriotism. 

The views don't necessarily reflect those of Qiushi Journal.