Central govt to faithfully implement ‘one country, two systems’ in HK, Macao

Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu (back row, second from right) and Macao Chief Executive Ho Iat-seng (back row, second from left) attend the opening ceremony of the first session of the 14th National People’s Congress in Beijing on Sunday.

The central government will faithfully and fully implement the “one country, two systems” principle with a high degree of autonomy for the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions, and support the SARs in growing their economies and improving the lives of their residents while maintaining their long-term prosperity and stability, Premier Li Keqiang said on Sunday. 

When delivering the Government Work Report on behalf of the State Council at the opening meeting of the first session of the 14th National People’s Congress, held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Li said the central government will remain committed to law-based governance in Hong Kong and Macao.

Beijing will ensure that constitutional order in the two regions is upheld as stipulated in the nation’s Constitution and the respective Basic Laws of the two regions, and that Hong Kong and Macao are administered by patriots, the report said.

According to the report, the central government had made fresh progress in work related to Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan, reflecting on past work.

The central government has ensured that Hong Kong has entered a new stage in which it has restored order and is set to thrive; promoted the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area; and supported Hong Kong and Macao in developing their economies, improving their living standards, responding to COVID-19, and maintaining stability.

The central government also has implemented the Communist Party of China’s overall policy for the new era on resolving the Taiwan question and resolutely fought against separatism and countered interference, pledging to continue efforts to promote the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations, according to the report.

This year, over 200 political heavyweights from Hong Kong and Macao — including the two cities’ chief executives, deputies to the National People’s Congress, and members of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference — attended the annual gatherings of the nation’s top legislative body and top political advisory body in Beijing. 

They said that Li’s report, with an accurate summary, objective analysis, and a goal set based on the actual situation, has plotted a direction for their future work, bestowing them with a renewed objective and mission to contribute to the cities and motherland.

In a statement on Sunday, Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu said he is deeply encouraged by Li’s report. He pledged that the SAR government will enhance the power and value of “patriots administering Hong Kong”, unite all sectors of the community, and make every effort to lift the city’s economy to better serve Hong Kong residents.

Macao Chief Executive Ho Iat-seng expressed his gratitude for the central government’s care and support for the city, vowing to work hand in hand with various sectors of the community to convey and deepen their understanding of the two sessions in a bid to open a new chapter for the implementation of “one country, two systems” with Macao characteristics.

Stanley Ng Chau-pei, a Hong Kong deputy to the NPC and the president of the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions, said that Li’s report is fact-based and has showcased the philosophy of pursuing progress while ensuring stability, and has made special efforts to mention Hong Kong and Macao affairs, giving the strongest support and reassurance to the residents of the two regions.

Ho Sut-heng, a Macao SAR deputy to the NPC and president of the Macao Federation of Trade Unions, said that Li’s report pointed out this year’s work focus, putting livelihood issues as a top priority of social policies, which will boost residents’ confidence in their future livelihoods.