HK to make due contributions to rejuvenation of Chinese nation after electoral system amendment: top legislator



China's top legislator Li Zhanshu on Tuesday stressed the principle of “patriots governing Hong Kong” so as to ensure the city’s enduring peace, prosperity and stability, after the legislature adopted the amended Annex I and Annex II to the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

Li, chairman of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, made the remarks at the closing meeting of the 27th session of the Standing Committee of the 13th NPC on Tuesday, after Chinese national lawmakers unanimously approved the amendment, with revised measures for electing the Hong Kong Chief Executive and the formation of the Hong Kong Legislative Council, which is seen as another major step in tackling the loopholes in the city’s governance structure.

The goal of the Hong Kong electoral system overhaul is to make sure that the bodies of power in Hong Kong are run by patriots. The decision was overwhelmingly approved on March 11 at the closing of the two sessions, and after the approval of the detailed overhaul plan on Tuesday, local authorities in Hong Kong will begin amending local laws accordingly.

Li pointed out that the adoption of both the decision and the amendment to the law demonstrates the firm determination and common will of people of all ethnic groups in China, including Hong Kong compatriots, to safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests, and safeguard the constitutional order of the HKSAR.

Li said that all legislators of the NPC Standing Committee agree that through the improvement of the election system of the HKSAR, a set of democratic election systems will be formed to conform to Hong Kong's legal status and actual situation.

These constitutional arrangements combine adherence to the "one country" principle with respect for the differences of the "two systems,” safeguard the central government's overall governance over the HKSAR and guarantee a high degree of autonomy in the region, and fully implement the fundamental principle of "patriots governing Hong Kong," Li said.

This amendment is of great significance to upholding and improving "one country, two systems,” safeguarding the constitutional order of the HKSAR as defined in the Constitution of China and the Basic Law of the HKSAR, and ensuring long-term peace, stability and prosperity in Hong Kong, Li said.

Li pointed out that the NPC and its Standing Committee have put forward clear requirements for the HKSAR and the Chief Executive to implement the decisions of the NPC and revised Annexes I and II of the Basic Law.

The HKSAR should promptly amend the relevant local laws, implement and improve the electoral system, and organize and regulate relevant election activities in accordance with the law, Li said.

He added that the relevant departments should step up publicity and interpretation, make clear the importance, necessity, and legality of improving the electoral system of the HKSAR, and create a favorable political and public opinion environment for law enforcement.

Li stressed that with the improvement of the electoral system and effective implementation of the “patriots governing Hong Kong” principle, the central government’s right to the comprehensive governance of the HKSAR will be effectively implemented, the central government's overall authority over the HKSAR will be effectively exercised and the HKSAR will significantly improve management efficiency.

Deep-seated problems will be effectively resolved while achieving enduring peace and stability, and Hong Kong will make its due contribution to the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, Li said.

(Global Times)