China's top legislature adopted on Thursday a decision to improve the electoral system of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), marking a landmark step to ensure that the Chinese metropolis is administered by patriots.
Creating a more suitable electoral system for Hong Kong is an urgent matter, essential for safeguarding the long-term stability and prosperity of this major international financial hub.
Since Hong Kong returned to China more than two decades ago, the implementation of "one country, two systems" has been a monumental success. The city has enjoyed a high degree of administrative, legislative and economic autonomy.
Yet over the past years, the anti-China, destabilizing forces and radical localists in Hong Kong have manipulated the electoral system to enter the governance structure of the HKSAR, pushed for their secessionist agenda, repeatedly challenged the central government's authority. Those moves have crossed the bottom line of "one country, two systems."
Reckless foreign intervention in Hong Kong is another major reason warranting electoral change. Hostile forces overseas, who have intensified their efforts to stoke "color revolutions" in the Chinese city, seeking to turn it into an outpost to contain China's development.
The result? A more socially unstable Hong Kong, with its international status as a key global investment destination and financial center hit hard.
In some sense, Beijing had no choice. No central government would tolerate such chaos or ignore outside disruptors running amok on its soil. The turbulence in Hong Kong is why Beijing enacted the national security law in HKSAR last year, and made the principle of "patriots administering Hong Kong" a prerequisite in electing the city's future administrators and members of local legislatures.
Hong Kong is part of China. No one cares more about the future of the metropolis and welfare of its residents than Beijing. Whenever Hong Kong faced a formidable challenge, such as the 1997 Asian financial crisis or the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it was Beijing that offered what Hong Kong needed the most.
It makes little sense to discuss economic progress or personal freedoms without social stability. Ensuring that Hong Kong retains its high-level of autonomy must be based on respecting China's sovereign jurisdiction over the city.
In the future, Beijing will continue to stick to a comprehensive and accurate implementation of "one country, two systems" in order to safeguard the city's tranquility and economic vitality in the long run.
With Beijing's backing, Hong Kong can continue to shine as one of the world's major financial and free trade ports and the global community can continue enjoying the development opportunities offered by a safer and more vigorous Hong Kong.