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Hong Kong has bright future, says senior official

Xia Baolong, vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, delivers a speech at a high-level symposium marking the first anniversary of the enactment of the Law on Safeguarding National Security in the HKSAR, in Hong Kong, on July 16, 2021. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

Under the protection of the National Security Law for Hong Kong and the strict implementation of the principle of "patriots administering Hong Kong", the special administrative region will have a great future as the Chinese nation achieves its great rejuvenation, a senior official on Hong Kong and Macao affairs said on Friday.

The current housing problem that troubles Hong Kong residents most will be overcome and we expect people could bid farewell to subdivided flats and "cage homes" (in 2049 when the People's Republic of China celebrates the centenary of its founding)

 Xia Baolong, head of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council

Xia Baolong, vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and head of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, made the remarks at a symposium marking the first anniversary of enacting the Law on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, which was simultaneously held in Beijing, Hong Kong and Macao.

While drawing a prosperous picture of the Hong Kong SAR when the People's Republic of China celebrates the centenary of its founding in 2049, Xia said, at that time, Hong Kong is expected to be a vibrant international metropolis with a more prosperous economy, harmonious society and better rule of law.

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"The current housing problem that troubles Hong Kong residents most will be overcome and we expect people could bid farewell to subdivided flats and 'cage homes'," Xia said.

"Children will grow up healthy and happy, and students will receive a good education. Young people can have a broad stage for employment and entrepreneurship to pursue their dreams," he said. "The elderly will live a peaceful life in old age and all the people can enjoy a happier life."

The senior official said that to achieve this bright future, Hong Kong needs the protection of the National Security Law and must strictly implement the principle of "patriots administering Hong Kong".

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Speaking ahead of a series of elections in Hong Kong, Xia stressed the importance of ensuring those elected are determined patriots with governance capabilities.

He called for resolute efforts to exclude anti-China forces from the SAR's administrative structure in the upcoming elections, including the Election Committee, the Legislative Council and the chief executive of the Hong Kong SAR.

Xia Baolong called for efforts to elect staunch patriots with a high level of administrative capabilities. Such personnel should be competent in fully and accurately practicing "one country, two systems" in Hong Kong, and dare to fight deeds that undermine China's sovereignty, security and development interests, he said

"Anti-China disruptors must never be allowed to make their way into the SAR's administrative structure and become an administrator by any means," Xia said, adding that any possible loopholes in this regard should be plugged with strict scrutiny throughout the electoral process.

He also called for efforts to elect staunch patriots with a high level of administrative capabilities. Such personnel should be competent in fully and accurately practicing "one country, two systems" in Hong Kong, and dare to fight deeds that undermine China's sovereignty, security and development interests, he said.

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They should be good at resolving tensions and problems facing the region's development, and effectively addressing prominent problems in Hong Kong such as housing, employment, medical care and the wealth gap.

Requiring Hong Kong's officials to serve the public with practical actions, Xia said, "They need to adopt effective measures to address the issues of concern to the public and win the trust of the people through their performance in governance."

Such personnel should also be good at rallying and uniting all sectors to gather the greatest strengths for the development of Hong Kong, and they should work diligently with a sense of responsibility, he said.

Xia said the enforcement of the National Security Law had reversed the chaos in Hong Kong, achieving a major turning point and serving as a major milestone in the implementation of "one country, two systems".

He said the SAR has been fulfilling its constitutional duty to safeguard national security and spared no effort to build an "iron wall" for national security.

The event on Friday was attended by senior officials from the central government and the Hong Kong SAR government, Hong Kong members of the national legislature, political advisers and political and legal scholars.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor on Friday vowed to further strengthen the implementation of the National Security Law for Hong Kong and improve the legal system for safeguarding it in a bid to live up to the expectations of the central government.

Xinhua contributed to this story.