Hong Kong will shine

Published On: August 14, 2019 01:00 AM NPT By: Hou Yanqi

Hong Kong will restore its normal order soon.  “One country, two systems” policy will always be firmly upheld, and “Pearl of the Orient” will be shining again

Hong Kong, whose official name is Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) of the People’s Republic of China, is a highly prosperous international metropolitan city embracing eastern and western cultures. As an international center for finance, trade, shipping, and science and technology innovation, Hong Kong is well known for clean government, well public order, free economy system and sound legal system in the world and enjoys reputation of “Pearl of Orient”.  It is an ideal destination of tourism, leisure and shopping for people all around the world including Nepali people. The cultural diversity adds more unique charm and wonderful color to Hong Kong.

Unfortunately, since June, a string of protests and violent incidents have occurred in Hong Kong after the government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region tried to discuss the amendments to the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance.  Some radical protesters surrounded and stormed the Legislative Council building and the Liaison Office of the Central Government building in Hong Kong, disturbed the operations of the departments of HKSAR government, smeared the national flags, national emblems and the HKSAR emblems, blocked roads and halted traffic, occupied airport and harassed people, and even attacked the police in a cruel way.  HKSAR police have raided homemade-explosives manufacturing lab in a factory building, seizing a large cache of explosives and other materials intended for use in the violent demonstrations.  Definitely, these activities have gone far beyond the proper scope of peaceful demonstrations.

Influenced by the marches and demonstrations and violent clashes, Hong Kong retailers have seen a significant sales decline over the past month. The consumer confidence index in Hong Kong has fallen to its lowest level in five years, and the number of tourist groups from Southeast Asia has been declining in a large scale recently.  The growth rate of GDP in Hong Kong for the first quarter of 2019 decreased to 0.6 percent compared to 4.6 percent the same period last year, and the data for the second quarter may be minus.  “Pearl of Orient” has lost its normal shininess and vitality.

Hong Kong belongs to China 

It is well known that Hong Kong has been China’s territory since ancient times.  In the 19th century, British colonists forced Qing government to sign a series of unequal treaties, which ceded Hong Kong and Kowloon and gave Britain a 99-year lease of the New Territories.  After 22 rounds of consultation in over two years since September of 1982, the Chinese side and the British side signed “Joint Declaration of the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of the People’s Republic of China on the Question of Hong Kong.”  On July 1, 1997, Hong Kong returned to the motherland with the policy of “one country, two systems”.  Under this system, the central government exercises overall jurisdiction over HKSAR. The capitalist system and way of life in Hong Kong remain unchanged. The HKSAR exercises a high degree of autonomy except in foreign affairs and defense.  “One country, two systems” is a great institutional innovation, the best solution to the Hong Kong question left over from history.  It not only safeguards the national unity and territorial integrity, but also gives full consideration to special circumstances of Hong Kong and the interests of its citizens.  It has strongly promoted the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong and wins heartfelt support from all Chinese people including Hong Kong compatriots.

Since Hong Kong’s return to the motherland, its stability and development have always been cared and supported by the central government.  During the Asian financial crisis in 1997, the outbreak of SARS epidemic in 2003, and international financial crisis in the second half of 2008, the central government took a series of measures immediately to help HKSAR stabilize finance, develop economy, enhance confidence and overcome difficulties.

With joint efforts of all Chinese people including Hong Kong compatriots, Hong Kong has achieved unprecedented development since its return.  In 2018, Hong Kong’s GDP reached 2.66 trillion HKD, which more than doubled since 1996. According to the global competitiveness report of the relevant institution, Hong Kong ranks second among 63 economies, rated as the freest economy in the world for 25 consecutive years.  According to the UNCTAD’s World Investment Report 2018, Hong Kong attracted 104 billion dollars foreign direct investments, ranking the third in the world.  With the openness of the Hong Kong section of Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link and the “Mega Project” Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, Hong Kong and the mainland have been closely connected by infrastructure.  By the beginning of this June, over 10 million tourists traveled by Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge checkpoint.  In the first five months of this year, the value of cargoes imported and exported through the checkpoint has reached 14.56 billion RMB, and the volume of freight has been 99,000 tons.  It has been proved by facts that “one country, two systems” is the best institutional arrangement for the long term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong and has brought tangible benefits to its residents.

It’s our concern 

Hong Kong is part of China, and its affairs are of domestic concern alone.  There is no country in the world which allows domestic violent incidents threatening its social stability and people’s lives.  The central government of China strongly supports HKSAR Police, concerned departments and judicial bodies in its effective administration to punish the perpetrators of all illegal violence in accordance with laws, give criminal sanction to the violent offenders, restore normal social order, and ensure the personal and property safety of the residents of Hong Kong. 

It is surprising that while a series of violent incidents happened in Hong Kong, some Western countries show their sympathy, understanding and encouragement to the violent offenders, and even call the demonstrations and violent incidents “a beautiful sight to behold” and give criticism and outright condemnation to the police fulfilling their duties to protect public order and security, and safeguard the rule of law in Hong Kong.  I want to ask them, if the violent incidents happen in their own countries, will they just sit by and give sympathy and understanding to them? Their ill intention to mess up in Hong Kong and separate it from China is all too clear.  The Chinese government will never allow any foreign forces to interfere in Hong Kong’s affairs.  These attempts will get them nowhere.

The government of HKSAR has taken measures to contain the spread of violent incidents.  All Hong Kong-loving and patriotic people with a sense of justice have stood together against violence to safeguard rule of law in Hong Kong.  The mainland has always been a powerful backing for Hong Kong.  With the support from the central government, the strong measures taken by government of HKSAR and the strong belief of the 1.4 billion Chinese people, Hong Kong will restore its normal order soon.  “One country, two systems” policy will always be firmly upheld, and “Pearl of the Orient” will be shining again.

The author is China’s ambassador to Nepal 

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