Off the wire
Copa Libertadores: Defending champions Atletico Nacional ousted  • Mexico City faces worst air pollution in two decades  • Eating fruit, vegetables secret to looking good: Australian study  • Interview: Slovenia wishes to become major logistic hub of Belt and Road Initiative, says minister  • Xinhua China news advisory -- May 19  • Gold price opens lower in Hong Kong  • Melbourne has longest yet slowest tram network in the world: study  • China treasury bond futures open lower Friday  • Hong Kong stocks open 0.14 pct higher  • Chinese football has bright future, says FIFA official Zhang Jian  
You are here:   Home/ Government Policy

One Country, Two Systems: Peace, Stability and Development

China Today, July 18, 2017 Adjust font size:

July 1 saw the 20th anniversary of the end of British colonial rule over Hong Kong and its return to the motherland. The Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People’s Republic of China provides that the capitalist system and lifestyle of Hong Kong shall remain unchanged for 50 years. Hong Kong and Macao thus retain their capitalist systems, while the rest of China keeps to the socialist system. This is commonly known as the “one country, two systems,” a phenomenon unprecedented in human history.

Since becoming an SAR of China, Hong Kong has enjoyed a high degree of autonomy. Under the leadership of the Chief Executive of the SAR, the government of Hong Kong operates under a democratic political system that ensures judicial independence. More and more people have participated in elections of the chief executive.

Although Hong Kong shares common roots with the rest of China, as regards culture, language, and customs, and is geographically close to the mainland, it embraces a Western lifestyle due to the influence of over 150 years of British rule. Hong Kong’s way of life, featuring horse racing and stock investing, while fusing harmoniously with traditional Chinese culture, as represented by Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism, has remained the same since its return to the motherland.

The region has also maintained its status as international financial, trade and shipping center. Hong Kong International Airport still ranks first among airports of the world as regards air cargo throughput, and 70 of the world’s 100 largest banks have offices in Hong Kong. The year 2017 marks the 23rd year in succession that the U.S.-based Heritage Foundation has listed Hong Kong as the world’s freest economy. It is also the second year in succession that the World Competitiveness Yearbook released by the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland, has rated Hong Kong as the most competitive economy globally.

As a cosmopolis, Hong Kong continues to receive new immigrants from China’s mainland and foreign countries. The people of different creeds and colors that work and live here enrich the city’s conglomeration of multiple cultures. Data from the Consulate General of France in Hong Kong and Macao show that 25,000 French citizens live in Hong Kong, making it home to the largest French community in Asia.  

Since Hong Kong became a graying society its government has spared no effort in alleviating poverty, providing for the aged, and helping disadvantaged groups. It has encouraged employment, set the minimum wage, and established the Community Care Fund and subsistence allowances for senior citizens and low-income families, so bringing benefits to more than one million people.

In 2016, Hong Kong’s average life expectancy was 81.3 years for men and 87.3 years for women – higher than most regions in the world. This may be ascribed to the beautiful natural scenery, delicious, nutritious local dishes, and harmonious life that Hong Kong citizens enjoy.

Hong Kong’s stability, prosperity and development over the past two decades is attributable to boundless help from the motherland whenever encountering problems, maintaining its original system, and its closer relationship with the mainland. As at the end of 2016, Hong Kong remained the mainland’s largest source of foreign capital and external financing platform, and the main destination for outbound investment. It is also a global hub for offshore RMB business, and a center for cross-border RMB trade settlement services.

The Belt and Road Initiative has highlighted Hong Kong’s role as China’s point of global access, making it a platform for integrated services, investment and financing, and cultural exchanges, and integral to cross-border industry transfers and infrastructure construction.

Hong Kong also acts as an international talent incubator and multifunctional maritime center, and as a service center for international law and dispute resolution. There is hence every reason to believe that Hong Kong and the motherland are heading towards a shared, brilliant future.