Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Carrie Lam has stressed that "one country, two systems" is the best institutional arrangement for Hong Kong.
Safeguarded by the HKSAR Basic Law, Hong kong has made great strides in finance, rule of law and independent judiciary, rights and freedoms of residents as well as external affairs, Lam said.
She made the remarks on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the promulgation of the HKSAR Basic Law in an article titled "The Basic Law - Best Safeguard for the Prosperity and Stability of Hong Kong" published Saturday on Hong Kong newspapers.
In the article, Lam encouraged Hong Kong residents to learn more about the Basic Law and allow Hong Kong to leverage its advantages and advance with the country.
The Basic Law clearly states that Hong Kong has been part of the territory of China since ancient times and is an inalienable part of the People's Republic of China. It is a special administrative region enjoying a high degree of autonomy under the Central People's Government, Lam noted.
In the 22 years since its return to the motherland, Hong Kong has weathered different challenges and, on the whole, the implementation of "one country, two systems" has been successful, Lam said.
With motherland's strong support and in an advantageous positon facing the world, Hong Kong has leveraged its strengths in free market economy and close linkage with the mainland and developed into an international financial, trade and transportation center, she said.
Article 109 of the Basic Law confirms Hong Kong's status as an international financial center and stipulates that the government of the HKSAR shall provide an appropriate economic and legal environment for the maintenance of such status, she said.
"Since I took office, I have put in place initiatives such as the two-tier profits tax system and tax deduction for research and development expenditure to enhance Hong Kong's competitiveness."
Regarding rule of law and independent judiciary, the Basic Law preserves and guarantees Hong Kong's long-established and trusted common law system and allows the HKSAR to enjoy independent judicial power, including that of final adjudication. The rule of law and an independent judiciary, which are held dearly by Hong Kong people, are constitutionally protected, Lam said.
On the rights and freedoms of residents, Lam stressed that the fundamental rights and freedoms of Hong Kong residents are fully protected by the Basic Law.
On developing external affairs, Hong Kong has always been a bridge between the mainland and overseas. The Basic Law allows the HKSAR to maintain and develop relations with foreign states and regions and relevant international organizations in the appropriate fields, including economic, trade, financial and monetary, shipping, communications, tourism, cultural and sports fields on its own, using the name of "Hong Kong, China," she said.
At the end of the article, Lam reiterated that the implementation of "one country, two systems" fully demonstrates that it is the best institutional arrangement to maintain Hong Kong's long-term prosperity and stability.
"As a pioneering initiative, its application entails an evolving process and we have to effectively and fully apply this principle in order to maintain the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong, to meet the aspirations of our citizens and to meet the fundamental interests of our country," she wrote.