This file photo dated May 27, 2019 shows Kennedy Wong Ying-ho. (ROY LIU / CHINA DAILY)
Editor’s note: Kennedy Wong Ying-ho, lawmaker-elect for the import and export Functional Constituency, broke silence on the US-led Western countries’ smear campaign against Hong Kong’s election and political system. The solicitor told China Daily that he believed these meddling moves are politically driven to contain our nation, and Hong Kong can move quicker if “patriots administering Hong Kong” is fully implemented in the city’s political system.
Q: A few Western countries have released so-called joint statements on Hong Kong’s Legislative Council election. And what is your take on their actions?
I think our motherland, our country now is already the second-largest economy in the world. And we are moving steadily forward. So my own projection is within the next 10 years, we will be the largest, which is not surprising to anybody because we are the largest country in the world by population. We have 1.4 billion Chinese. So I think some foreign forces probably want to derail our national development. And also Hong Kong’s “one country, two systems” has been successful. Hong Kong has remained as one of the major financial centers of the world. So some of our competitors were trying to smear Hong Kong.
Q: The United States has just imposed sanctions on five Hong Kong-based central government officials. What do you think is its motive behind the move?
I think the US has been targeting our country for the past few years already. It has created its own sort of domestic laws intervening in our domestic affairs in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, in the Tibet autonomous region, in Taiwan, and also in Hong Kong as well.
About these so-called sanctions, my read is for their domestic politics, because honestly, it’s not going to hurt our officials. But the USA has been trying very hard to smear China and to create a negative image in the international media and international press. That's why I think it's very important for us to present a true picture, the fair picture and the right picture to the world about what really is happening in Hong Kong and in other parts of our motherland.
Q: The central government released on Monday a white paper on Hong Kong’s democratic development. It said that Hong Kong’s governance should be kept firmly in the hands of patriots. What's your understanding of this?
I think Hong Kong is a special administrative region of the People's Republic of China.
Unfortunately, in the past few years, some people have tried to distort this particular fact. And I think patriots, to my understanding, we need to understand the Chinese Constitution. We need to understand “one country, two systems”. It's my fourth term on the CPPCC, the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. So we understand that our country is run by the Communist Party of China over other sorts of parties in participation. And we understand the mainland political system. So I think for patriots, first of all, we have to abide by our Chinese Constitution, respect our Communist Party of China’s ruling to the whole country and also accept the Basic Law.
So I think these are the minimum standards. We love Hong Kong and we love our motherland, then we of course work very hard for the benefit of the whole country. I think that previously, Hong Kong has not had this culture, I would say, fully embedded. In particular, some youngsters do not seem to understand Chinese history, and that they need to work for both the benefit of Hong Kong and the benefit of the whole country.
So I think now that we have the new LegCo, we have the new set of election laws, and then we see this white paper from the State Council. I think, first of all, the Hong Kong government should promote this white paper in secondary schools and also in universities. So I think with this “patriots running Hong Kong” concept fully embedded into various societies in Hong Kong, then I’m sure Hong Kong can move forward a lot quicker.
Q:What kind of significance do you think the new LegCo and the concluded LegCo election will bring to Hong Kong’s democratic development?
So basically, the lawmakers-elect are all patriots. These are people who love Hong Kong and who love our motherland, and who really want to contribute to the well-being of Hong Kong.
I think this is a good common ground. Previously, we have seen all this filibustering and all these unwanted actions.
And in the previous LegCo, I would say not much work could be done. So this particular new Legislative Council, there will be 90 members and all patriots representing different sectors. I actually am very confident that this LegCo can achieve a lot more than the previous one.
Q: As a lawmaker representing the import and export sector, which policy initiatives were you prioritized in your term in office?
The import and export sector is very important for Hong Kong. Last year, close to about 20 percent of Hong Kong's GDP came from imports and exports and related activities. And we also employ close to about half a million of people here in Hong Kong. I think the consensus of my sector is that we have to blend in with the national development; for example, the Greater Bay Area initiative; the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which our central government has signed; and also the Belt and Road Initiative, because for trade and for business, when the market is expanded, then we have more room to maneuver.
So basically, if Hong Kong can sort of merge economically well into the Greater Bay Area, the import and export sector will all of a sudden have a market that is at least 10 times the size of the present market; likewise for the RCEP which will have tremendous opportunity for trade.