Liu Guangyuan, commissioner of the Chinese foreign ministry in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), delivers a speech at a briefing in Hong Kong, south China, Dec. 22, 2021. (Xinhua/Li Gang)
HONG KONG, Dec. 22 (Xinhua) -- The Office of the Commissioner of the Chinese Foreign Ministry in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) held a briefing Wednesday on the bright prospects for Hong Kong's democratic progress.
Citing the white paper titled "Hong Kong: Democratic Progress Under the Framework of One Country, Two Systems" released by China's State Council Information Office on Monday, Liu Guangyuan, commissioner of the Chinese foreign ministry in the HKSAR, told the briefing that under the British colonial rule, there was no democracy in Hong Kong and the return of Hong Kong to China ushered in a new era for its democracy.
The first Legislative Council (LegCo) election since the improvement to the HKSAR's electoral system was held smoothly on Sunday, Liu said, noting that people from all sectors took their part and voters exercised their civil rights.
It demonstrates the broad representation, political inclusiveness, balanced participation and fair competition of the election, and is a successful model of quality and substantive democracy, showing that democracy in Hong Kong is advancing with the times, he added.
Since Hong Kong's return to the motherland 24 years ago, the central government has fully supported the orderly and law-based development of democracy in Hong Kong under "one country, two systems" and the Basic Law of the HKSAR, and has taken significant steps, showing the central government's unwavering commitment, unchanged sincerity and continuous efforts in supporting Hong Kong's democratic progress, Liu said.
"Facts have repeatedly shown that progress towards democracy has stalled in Hong Kong because of the local agitators and the external groups behind them," he noted.
Liu said the central government responded swiftly to the situation in Hong Kong and took a series of decisive measures such as adopting the national security law in Hong Kong, improving Hong Kong's electoral system, implementing the principle of "patriots administering Hong Kong," and supporting the HKSAR in improving oath-taking rules for public office-holders.
"The measures helped Hong Kong to achieve the major transformation from chaos to stability and brought Hong Kong's democracy back on track," he added.
Noting that "one country, two systems" provides a foundation for the development of democracy in Hong Kong, Liu said it is not only the best solution to solve the issues left over by history, but also the best system for Hong Kong to maintain long-term prosperity and stability after its return to the motherland.
He said the democratic practice of China and the HKSAR has proved that there is no fixed one-size-fits-all model for democracy that is universally applicable.
"We believe that with the full support of the central government, the institutional advantages of 'one country, two systems,' the huge opportunities of national strategies such as the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the 'Belt and Road Initiative,' and with the improving democracy with Hong Kong features, the development of Hong Kong will have a brighter prospect," he said. Enditem