I am honoured to have been invited to attend the celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Founding of the Communist Party of China in Beijing. Over the past century, China has marched ahead steadfastly under the leadership of the Party. China has been transformed from feeble to strong, our people have been moving out of poverty to become rich and our society has continued to prosper resulting in extraordinary accomplishments after accumulating valuable experience.
The Opium War marked a turning point in the Chinese history. China was since then reduced to a semi-colonial and semi-feudal country. Established in 1921, the original aspiration and the mission of the Communist Party of China is to seek happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation for the Chinese nation. The Party also recognises the importance of acting on the people-centred philosophy of development, successfully turning our country gradually from poverty to prosperity. In the fight against poverty, our country has adopted a basic strategy of targeted poverty alleviation, yielding significant achievements. According to the white paper on “Poverty Alleviation: China's Experience and Contribution” published earlier this year, more than 770 million of China's rural population living below the current poverty line have been raised from poverty since reform and opening up, accounting for more than 70% of the global total over the same period according to the World Bank's international poverty standard. China has won the battle against extreme poverty and achieved the poverty alleviation goal set on the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development 10 years ahead of schedule, earning critical acclaim internationally.
The Communist Party of China leads the nation to overcome obstacles and has developed the theoretical system of socialism with Chinese characteristics after the reform and opening up. The amendment to the Constitution was also adopted in 2018, expressly setting out the fundamental system of our country in the Preamble and Article 1. China has realised in just a few decades that took the developed Western countries several centuries on industrialisation, achieving the common goal shared by the Party and the people, as well as making our country stronger and prosper.
At the same time, science and technology in our country have developed rapidly. President Xi Jinping, also the general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, pointed out that “core technologies may not be available when needed, cannot be purchased when needed, and are not always available on demand. Only by grasping key and core technologies within our own hands can we fundamentally guarantee national economic security, national defense security, and other securities.” Our country has successfully enhanced the capacity for independent innovation, allowing the spread of spirit of scientist and patriotism, improving the preparedness in the battle of core technologies.
Under the direction of the Communist Party of China, the Central Authorities put forward the idea “one country, two systems”, which is an innovative constitutional concept, to ensure Hong Kong’s smooth transition and return to the motherland. It also led to successful resolutions of the unequal treaties and the historical Hong Kong question, providing a good example for implementation of the international law. Echoing the preamble of the Basic Law, the aspiration of “one country, two systems” is to uphold the national sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity, as well as to maintain the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong.
Since Hong Kong's return to the motherland 24 years ago, our citizens enjoy a safe place to live and work whilst our community has been growing well, ensuring the long-term success of “one country, two systems” with the support of our country.
National security is an issue of top priority for any State in the world. The Central Authorities, in accordance with the Constitution and the Basic Law, authorised the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress to enact the National Security Law to plug the loophole in national security. Hong Kong has reverted to a safe, rational, inclusive and vibrant society which ensures the smooth implementation of the “one country, two systems”.
As pointed out by President Xi, political security is of overarching importance. Top priority has been therefore given to political security in order to maintain the safety of the political system and state power with a view to providing a strong and fundamental political underpinning. “The Decision of the National People’s Congress on improving the electoral system of the HKSAR” was passed to improve the electoral system aiming at a more balanced and orderly political participation as well as a broader representation of society, in a bid to form a new democratic electoral system suited to Hong Kong’s realities and with Hong Kong characteristics. The operation of the Legislative Council (LegCo) will resume normality. The Government and the LegCo are able to put the focus on people’s livelihood and economic development. The principle of “one country, two systems” can be fully and faithfully applied in Hong Kong.
To enhance the understanding and awareness of the national security among the community, the Department of Justice will organise an online legal forum “Security Brings Prosperity” on July 5, bringing together legal experts to discuss and exchange views on the application and interpretation of the National Security Law. You are all welcome to visit the dedicated webpage for registration.
July 1, 2021