Chinese President Xi Jinping assured today that he sees “no reason” to revise the “one country, two systems” principle that has granted a certain degree of autonomy to Hong Kong, during his speech to mark its 25th anniversary return of the city, a major Asian financial hub, to China.
This model is “so good” that “there is no reason to change” and is expected to “remain long-term” in force, Mr Xi said, assuring that everything Beijing has done recently was for “Hong’s good”. Kong”.
The “one country, two systems” principle was the fruit of negotiations between London and Beijing before the former British colony was returned to China in 1997. The agreement between the two parties stipulated a 50-year period during which Hong Kong would have a certain degree of autonomy and guaranteed freedoms.
But critics of the Chinese government, including Western governments, say the national security law imposed on the autonomous region in 2019 by Beijing has eroded the promised freedoms.
Mr. Xi also assured that “true democracy” in Hong Kong began after his return to China.
“After reunification with the motherland, the people of Hong Kong have become the sovereigns of their city,” the Chinese president asserted.
The head of state today attended the ceremony to mark the 25th anniversary of Hong’s return to China and the swearing-in of the new head of the local government, John Lee.
This is the first trip made by the Chinese president outside mainland China since the outbreak of the new coronavirus pandemic. It is also his first visit to Hong Kong since the outbreak of mass pro-democracy protests in 2019.
The Chinese president is guarded by a particularly strong police force, while special surveillance and control systems have been installed to ensure that no one who comes close to Mr Xi is a carrier of the new coronavirus.