Improving Hong Kong's electoral system, a major move to enrich "one country, two systems"

2021-03-12 09:00:00 Source:Xinhua Author:
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BEIJING, March 11 (Xinhua) -- China's National People's Congress, the country's top legislature, on Thursday adopted a decision on improving the electoral system of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), the latest move to develop and enrich the practice of "one country, two systems" and the implementation of the Basic Law of the HKSAR.
The move aims to safeguard the effective implementation of the central authorities' overall jurisdiction over the HKSAR, help maintain the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong and ensure the steady practice of "one country, two systems" in the long run.
The methods for the selection of the chief executive and the formation of the Legislative Council (LegCo) of the HKSAR, formulated 30 years ago, have visible flaws that need immediate rectification.
According to the decision, the HKSAR's Election Committee will be expanded from the current 1,200 members to 1,500, divided into five sectors. This will broaden the scope of political participation of Hong Kong compatriots and better integrate national interests with the overall interests of the Hong Kong society.
The new Election Committee will shoulder two major responsibilities -- one is nominating candidates for the office of the Chief Executive and electing the Chief Executive designate, and the other is nominating all candidates for the LegCo and electing some of the LegCo members.
The new Election Committee with a broader societal representation is conducive to safeguarding the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of Hong Kong residents.
Besides, the LegCo will also be expanded. It will be composed of 90 members and will include members returned by the Election Committee, those returned by functional constituencies, and those by geographical constituencies through direct elections.
These changes answer the public call for years to expand the size of the LegCo and take fully into account the efficient functioning of the LegCo and the proportion of the population it represents.
The new LegCo will better accommodate and strike a balance between the interests of all parties, help reduce the risks of politicization, radicalization and fragmentation in the LegCo, and ensure the full implementation of the principle of "patriots administering Hong Kong."
A candidate qualification review committee is designed to prevent the recurrence of situations that some candidates have unscrupulously endangered national security in recent years, and eliminate the possibility of Hong Kong elections breaching national security.
Improving the HKSAR's electoral system is an imperative task and the need of the hour. The amended electoral system will not only fully respect the democratic rights of the public, but also earnestly safeguard China's sovereignty, security, and development interests.
The electoral system of Hong Kong is a local electoral arrangement under China's jurisdiction. Therefore, how it is designed, developed and improved is China's internal affair, and foreign forces have no say in its functioning.
All anti-China, destabilizing elements in Hong Kong should abandon their pipe dreams of taking into their hands the power to administer the HKSAR.
It is unchallengeable that Hong Kong, an inseparable part of China, must be administered by patriots.
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