President Xi Jinping has urged adherence to the “one country, two systems” principle and called for its correct implementation in Hong Kong.
“New situations have arisen in the practice of the ‘one country, two systems’ principle in Hong Kong in recent years,” Xi said Wednesday when he met with Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, who is in Beijing to report on his work in the past year to the central government.
Observers in Hong Kong took particular note of Xi’s remark that “new situations” have arisen, Apple Daily reported Thursday.
They interpreted it as implying that tightening of the central government’s control over Hong Kong can be expected in future.
An unnamed politician told the newspaper that Xi, who mentioned during the meeting comments from overseas about the principle, was also trying to tell other countries they had better not interfere with Hong Kong’s affairs.
Xi stressed that the central authority’s adherence to the principle will not change or waver, official news agency Xinhua reported.
He said efforts must be made to ensure the principle is comprehensively and correctly followed in Hong Kong without any distortion.
In the past year, Leung and the Hong Kong government have carried out that principle and the Basic Law, made arduous efforts to advance the development of the special administrative region’s political system, economy and people’s livelihoods, and maintained its overall stability, Xi said.
The central government “fully endorses the work of Leung and the SAR government”, he said.
At present, seeking development, maintaining stability and promoting harmony are the common aspirations of Hong Kong citizens and the SAR government’s main tasks, Xi said.
The president expressed his hope that the Hong Kong government could unite all groups in the city to maintain social and political stability.
Hong Kong should seize the opportunity of the national 13th Five-Year Plan to develop its economy and improve people’s livelihoods so as to lay a solid foundation for the successful implementation of the “one country, two systems” principle and Hong Kong’s long-term development, Xi said.
In a separate meeting with Leung, Premier Li Keqiang pledged continued support for the Hong Kong government, Xinhua reported.
Efforts should be made to maintain the stability of Hong Kong’s economic and financial systems and guard against systematic risks, so as to preserve and enhance the city’s status as an important international financial hub, trade and navigation center, Li said.
The premier asked the Hong Kong government to incorporate the city’s development with the national development strategy.
The central government will take full consideration of Hong Kong’s role and needs when it is setting down related strategies and plans and support it in playing its unique role in the country’s economic development and opening up, Li said.
Leung said Hong Kong will enhance financial and science and technology cooperation with the mainland in the coming year, develop together with the country and seek fresh impetus for the city’s future development.
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