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UPDATED: June 21, 2014
Understand Correctly the 'One Country, Two Systems' Policy

The Chinese Central Government on Tuesday published its first white paper on the work of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), detailing the "one country, two systems" practice in the region.

Put forward by late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping in the early 1980s, the "one country, two systems" policy is a basic state policy the Chinese government has adopted to realize the peaceful reunification of the country.

According to Deng, it means there is only one China and under this premise the mainland adheres to a socialist system while Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan may retain their capitalist systems over a long time to come.

The policy was first applied to solve the question of Hong Kong.

It ensured Hong Kong's smooth return to the motherland on July 1, 1997, and at the same time, the HKSAR was established and the Basic Law came into effect.

Thanks to the policy, the HKSAR exercises a high degree of autonomy in accordance with the law, making Hong Kong continue to prosper, its society remain stable, with development witnessed in all areas.

Before its return, the United Kingdom designated governors to enforce colonial rule over Hong Kong for more than 150 years.

Since 1997, the HKSAR government and its legislature have been composed of local residents.

The election of the HKSAR chief executive has become increasingly democratic. The election of the Legislative Council is becoming more and more direct. And the timetable has been set for universal suffrage.

This fully proves that "one country, two systems" is not only the best solution to the Hong Kong question left over from history but also the best institutional arrangement for its long-term prosperity and stability.

Continuing to adhere to the policy of "one country, two systems" is the common wish of all Chinese people, including Hong Kong compatriots, and is in the fundamental interests of the country and people, the general and long-term interests of Hong Kong as well as the interests of foreign investors.

However, further development of the practice of "one country, two systems" and Hong Kong's social security, economic development, democratic progress have been disturbed as some people in the region are confused or lopsided in their understanding of the policy and the Basic Law.

Endeavors are thus needed to enable people to get a comprehensive and accurate understanding of the meaning of the "one country, two systems" policy to ensure it is carried out further on the right track.

The key to achieving the aim is to realize that "one country, two systems" is a holistic concept.

The "one country" is the premise and basis of the "two systems", and the "two systems" is subordinate to and derived from "one country". Only by respecting and learning from each other can the "two systems" in the "one country" coexist harmoniously and achieve common development.

In the face of profound adjustments and changes in the economic environment both within and outside the region, Hong Kong needs to continuously enhance its competitiveness.

Various social sectors need to pool their efforts to solve deep-seated problems in Hong Kong that have built up over a long period of time and are becoming more conspicuous at present.

Deepening exchanges and cooperation between Hong Kong and the mainland call for better communication and coordination, and people's concerns should be addressed properly.

Meanwhile, it is necessary to stay alert to the attempt of outside forces to use Hong Kong to interfere in China's domestic affairs, and curb the attempt made by an extremely small number of people who act in collusion with outside forces to interfere with the implementation of the "one country, two systems" policy.

As a groundbreaking initiative, "one country, two systems" is a new domain in which the country constantly explores new possibilities to enrich it.

A comprehensive and correct understanding and implementation of the policy and concerted efforts by people from all sectors will be useful for safeguarding China's sovereignty, security and interests and for maintaining long-term prosperity and stability in Hong Kong.

(Xinhua News Agency June 10, 2014)

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