Legislative Council president Jasper Tsang has voiced doubts over the willingness of China’s new generation of leaders to uphold the “one country, two systems” principle in the same manner that previous leaders did.
When the Basic Law was being drafted in the 1980s, the central government believed Hong Kong’s governance was top-class, prompting Beijing to simply adopt it for the city after the 1997 handover, Tsang told a forum organized by Ming Pao Daily.
At the time, Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping decided to continue the British-designed administration system for Hong Kong in view of Beijing’s cordial relations with the UK government, Tsang said.
However, after running the city for more than a decade, Beijing realized that it had a false impression of the excellent performance of Hong Kong’s political and administrative system, he said.
Before the handover, no one expected that Hong Kong youth would harbor strong sentiments against the mainland authority, Tsang said.
If LegCo fails to approve political reforms that reflect Beijing’s wishes, it is uncertain what the central government will do with its “one country, two systems” pledge, he said, adding that he is not trying to scare the public.
Under the previous leadership of Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao, the central government’s policy was simply to support Hong Kong’s long-term stability and prosperity. However, after the recent 18th national congress of the Communist Party, the words “defending national sovereignty, security and development” were being added to the old statements in reference to Hong Kong.
Tsang said the change reflects the enormous domestic and international changes over the past dozen years, according to the report.
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