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Don't pit 'One Country' against 'Two Systems'

China Daily | Updated: 2017-05-02 07:26

The legal chief of Beijing's representative office in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has rebuffed insinuations that the central government is trying to "mainlandize" Hong Kong.

Speaking at a symposium in the city on Sunday, Wang Zhenmin, director of law at the Central People's Government Liaison Office in the SAR, rejected the notion that Beijing is not adhering to the principle of "One Country, Two Systems" and instead asserted it sincerely wants the policy to do well.

His comments come ahead of the 20th anniversary of the territory's return to the motherland, and at a time when certain forces with ulterior motives are trying to mislead the Hong Kong public by claiming "two systems" takes precedence over "one country".

This is nonsense, as the Basic Law makes clear in its very first article-Hong Kong is an inalienable part of China.

The principle of "One Country, Two Systems" was designed in the best interests of Hong Kong as well as of the country as a whole, but as the Basic Law makes clear, even though it enjoys a high degree of autonomy, the SAR is a local administrative region of the People's Republic of China.

"One Country" is the basis and precondition for "Two Systems", meaning without "One Country" there would be no grounds for talking about "Two Systems" in Hong Kong. That's because "Two Systems" refers to the mainland's socialist system and Hong Kong's capitalist system, which coexist in "One Country"-the People's Republic of China.

Both Hong Kong and the mainland have been benefiting from their complementary relationship since 1997. With the advent of "globalization" it has never been more apparent that Hong Kong's economy must take advantage of being closely linked to that of the mainland, now the second largest in the world. The gathering momentum of the Belt and Road Initiative promises new opportunities for Hong Kong to excel as a hub for financial and other services.

The "One Country, Two Systems" is tailor-made for Hong Kong to continue to prosper as part of China without having to change its capitalist system or way of life. The central government will keep its promise and has shown nothing but unreserved support for the SAR whenever necessary. No one with a sensible mind can deny the nature of "One Country, Two Systems" or believe the latter can stand without the former.

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