Hong Kong's political figures and legal experts emphasized the significance of the principle of "patriots governing Hong Kong" to the region's peace and stability as national lawmakers will deliberate a draft decision on improving the electoral system of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) during the fourth annual session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC).
After the decision is adopted by the NPC, China's top legislature, the governance of the HKSAR will be firmly in the hands of patriots, and the steady and sustained implementation of "one country, two systems" will be guaranteed, they said.
"Patriots governing Hong Kong" is fully justified and is the essence of "one country, two systems," Lo Man-tuen, executive director of Hong Kong Association for Promotion of Peaceful Reunification of China, said, adding that those who govern Hong Kong are required to swear to uphold the HKSAR Basic Law and pledge allegiance to the HKSAR when taking office under Article 104 of the Basic Law.
Regina Ip, a member of the HKSAR Executive Council, attributed the rampant moves of anti-China disruptors in recent years to lack of steadfast implementation of "patriots governing Hong Kong," in particular an imperfect electoral system.
It has been proved time and again by elections of the Legislative Council and District Councils since Hong Kong's return to the motherland that the existing electoral system has loopholes that allow anti-China disruptors to conduct activities endangering Hong Kong's stability and national security, Alice Mak Mei-kuen, a member of the HKSAR's Legislative Council, said.
Recent political chaos largely stemmed from elections, Louis Chen, secretary-general of the Hong Kong Legal Exchange Foundation, said, stressing that improving the electoral system is the most critical and urgent task for implementing the principle of "patriots governing Hong Kong."
Anti-China disruptors including Benny Tai took advantage of the electoral loopholes to manipulate public opinion, aiming to seize governance power of the HKSAR through elections, Chen said.
The NPC decision will plug the loopholes and provide the major guarantee for the implementation of "patriots governing Hong Kong," Willy Fu, vice chairman of the Executive Council of Hong Kong Legal Exchange Foundation said, stressing that the deliberation by the national legislature is constitutional, legitimate and reasonable.
The central authorities clearly understand the situation in Hong Kong and respect the public opinion, Mak said, adding that efforts have been made recently to solicit advice from various sectors of Hong Kong through multiple forms including seminars.
It is a global common practice to apply such principles as in more than 100 countries, only those respect the law and constitutional order will be allowed to enter the power structure, Lau Siu-kai, vice president of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies, said.
Lau believed the principle will address the political infighting in Hong Kong, enable the Hong Kong society to refocus on the economy and people's livelihood, and promote the steady and sustained implementation of "one country, two systems".