The Basic Law has brought "institutional dividend" to the prosperity and stability of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), and Hong Kong must safeguard the constitutional order established by the Constitution and the Basic Law for better development in the future, experts said at a seminar on Saturday.
Nearly 100 experts from the mainland, HKSAR and the Macao Special Administrative Region participated in an online seminar on the 30th anniversary of the promulgation of the HKSAR Basic Law co-hosted by a number of academic institutions and think tanks.
Leung Chun-ying, vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and former secretary-general of the HKSAR Basic Law Consultative Committee, said in his speech that the drafting of the HKSAR Basic Law is rigorous, scientific, democratic and meticulous, and Hong Kong's experience in the past over 20 years since its return to the motherland has proved that the legal provisions of the Basic Law are complete.
However, he pointed out that the political work on the Basic Law still needs to be strengthened. "We must take pains to explain and interpret the Basic Law to the Hong Kong society and the international community."
Wang Hanbin, former vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) and deputy director of the drafting committee for the HKSAR Basic Law, said in a written speech that the Basic Law has played an important role in realizing the smooth return of Hong Kong and in promoting Hong Kong's development on all aspects.
The HKSAR Basic Law has withstood various tests and served as the fundamental guarantee for "one country, two systems," showing great vitality and adaptability, Wang said.
"In the future we must also act in strict accordance with the Constitution and the Basic Law, fully and accurately implement the principle of the 'one country, two systems', improve the systems and mechanisms related to the implementation of the Basic Law, and continuously carry out publicity and education on the Constitution and the Basic Law," Wang added.
Tam Wai-chu, deputy director of the HKSAR Basic Law Committee of the NPC Standing Committee, noted that the drafting of the HKSAR Basic Law took four years and eight months and many of its provisions were finalized after several rounds of discussions.
"The Basic Law takes into account the interests of all parties and helps build a broad consensus, fully embodying the spirit of the 'one country, two systems' principle. It has brought 'institutional dividend' to the prosperity and stability of the HKSAR, and at the same time ensured that Hong Kong residents enjoy a wide range of rights and freedoms, which is a significant improvement over that before Hong Kong's return," she said.
Some incidents seriously challenging the bottom line of "one country, two systems" have occurred in Hong Kong in recent years, she noted, calling for legislation in Hong Kong to safeguard the national security and territorial integrity.
Rao Geping, director of the Hong Kong and Macao Research Center of Peking University, said "'one country, two systems' is the best institutional arrangement for Hong Kong's governance after its return, and the Basic Law is the guardian of this system."
He added that if Hong Kong wants to develop better in the future, it must make adherence to the Basic Law a social consensus in getting out of the current predicament.
Wang Zhenmin, director of the Center for Hong Kong and Macao Studies at Tsinghua University, emphasized that the HKSAR must safeguard its constitutional order established by the Constitution and the Basic Law.
"The future of all Hong Kong residents relies on the Basic Law," he pointed out, adding that "only by cherishing and studying the Basic Law, safeguarding its dignity, consciously abiding by the Basic Law and acting in strict accordance with it, can Hong Kong enjoy a bright future."