The “one country, two systems” framework that allows Hongkongers to enjoy freedoms unavailable in mainland China can continue beyond the 2047 expiry date, so long as the locals, especially the youth, understand and adhere to the principle fully, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said on Thursday.
“There is enough reason to believe ‘one country, two systems’ … will not change after 2047,” Lam said in her first appearance in the city’s Legislative Council this year, Reuters reports.
Understanding and implementing the principle would require maintaining the “foundation of one country” and respecting the difference “of two systems”, she said.
Lam urged the city’s youngsters, who have been at the forefront of the often-violent protests, to not violate the principle because of “temporary misunderstandings.”
“The scenario they worry about today may be triggered by their own hand,” Lam said.
In other comments, Lam rejected allegations of police brutality and mishandling of the protests that have rocked the city since June last year.
“I do not accept allegations that police violence has occurred during the handling of seven months of social unrest,” she told legislators.
“Unfortunately, in the past few months, we have seen continuous smearing and demonizing of the Hong Kong police force, with the intention to weaken the law enforcement ability of the police force.”
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