Yang Yirui, acting commissioner of the Ministry of the Foreign Affairs of China in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), said Monday that it is urgent that the loopholes in the HKSAR's electoral system must be closed to fundamentally resolve the problems in Hong Kong, which should gain understanding and support from the international community.
Yang made the remark when hosting a briefing on the improvement of the electoral system of the HKSAR for the consular corps in Hong Kong, which was attended by heads or representatives from consulates-general of 59 countries and the European Union Office to Hong Kong.
Yang pointed out if the chaos in the elections in the HKSAR were left unchecked and anti-China disruptors allowed to worm their way into the governance structure and unscrupulously endanger national security and Hong Kong's prosperity and stability, Hong Kong would be plunged into violent turbulence, its status as an international financial, shipping and trading center under threat, and the interests of the international community here in peril.
The deliberation of the draft decision on improving the electoral system of the HKSAR at the fourth session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) is to carry out the "patriots administering Hong Kong" principle and the original mission of "one country, two systems" in the electoral system of the HKSAR, and is legitimate, reasonable and necessary.
Yang emphasized that it is a common constitutional arrangement and political practice in unitary states that the central government determines local electoral systems. It is also a universal political principle that those who govern shall meet rigorous standards of patriotism in order to be eligible.
The decision to improve the electoral system of the HKSAR made by the NPC, the highest organ of state power, is in line with the Constitution, the HKSAR Basic Law and international norms and has solid political and legal foundation, he said.
Yang also said the implementation of the "patriots administering Hong Kong" principle and the improvement of the electoral system of the HKSAR will help to stop destabilizing forces from obstructing Hong Kong's development at the legislature and enhance the capacity and efficacy of governance.
It will help to bridge differences and build consensus, channel resources into the top priority of boosting economy and improving people's livelihood, and strengthen Hong Kong's role as an international financial, trading and shipping center, Yang said.
"It will help to develop a democratic electoral system suited to Hong Kong's reality and reflecting the overall interests of the community, and ensure broad and balanced political participation of Hong Kong compatriots in accordance with the law," he said.
Yang noted that it will also help to dispel concerns among the international community about social unrest in Hong Kong, and provide international businesses with a more enabling environment featuring greater social tranquility, political stability and business predictability, he added.
Yang pointed out that the allegations that vilify the central government's efforts to improve the electoral system of the HKSAR and predict doom and gloom for Hong Kong are nothing but alarmist rumors, which run counter to the intention of the central government's decision and Hong Kong people's will.
The central government of China stays firmly committed to implementing the principles of "one country, two systems" and "Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong" with a high degree of autonomy, said Yang, adding that China hopes the consular corps in Hong Kong and the international community at large will abide by the principle of non-interference, a basic norm of international relations, fully and accurately understand "one country, two systems," view the central government's improvement of the electoral system of the HKSAR in an objective and rational manner, and together work for a prosperous and stable Hong Kong.
In response to a question about China's take on the remarks by a very few countries expressing "concerns" about the electoral reform and threatening with further actions, Yang pointed out that Hong Kong affairs are China's internal affairs and are crucial to China's core interests. China's policies and measures on Hong Kong issues have gained understanding and support among the majority of the international community.
Facts speak louder than words, and justice will always prevail. For instance, 70 countries made a joint statement and more than 20 other countries spoke separately at the 46th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in support of China's stance on Hong Kong, according to Yang.
"While a very few countries, driven by political motives and ideological bias, have made irresponsible remarks and even threats to meddle with the central government's decision to improve the HKSAR's electoral system, their attempts are doomed to be futile," he said.
Yang stressed that such interference will not reverse the historical trend of the restoration of stability in Hong Kong and enduring success of "one country, two systems," nor will it undermine China's determination to fully and faithfully implement "one country, two systems."
On the contrary, it will only further unite the Chinese people, including Hong Kong compatriots, in an effort to safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests, he said.