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25 years after the return of the People's Republic of China


This year marks the 25th anniversary of the return of Hong Kong. Looking back over the past 25 years, democracy has been a central issue between Hong Kong and Beijing. Originally, Beijing had already complied with the Hong Kong society in the Basic Law enacted long before Hong Kong’s return.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the return of Hong Kong.

Looking back over the past 25 years, democracy has been a central issue between Hong Kong and Beijing.

Originally, the Basic Law enacted by Beijing long before Hong Kong's return to the handover conformed to the general expectations of the Hong Kong society and stipulated that the goal of universal suffrage would be finally achieved according to the actual situation and the principle of gradual progress.

After the return of Hong Kong, although Beijing will set some restrictions based on factors such as national security, political stability, and political loyalty to ensure the controllability of Hong Kong's democratization, the overall democratic component will continue to increase, and the public opinion base will continue to increase. gradually expand.

But then the differences between Beijing and Hong Kong over the progress of Hong Kong's democratization continued to grow, and Hong Kong society began to raise voices of radical protests. The landmark event was the Occupy Central movement in 2014, which in turn heightened Beijing's vigilance.

Under the prevailing atmosphere in Hong Kong society, which is unwilling to compromise with Beijing, the political reform plan for universal suffrage for the chief executive in 2015 was rejected, and Hong Kong's democratization process was immediately in trouble.

The outbreak of the Hong Kong amendment bill in 2019 strongly stimulated Beijing, which led to Beijing's strong adjustment of Hong Kong governance policies, and then the introduction of the National Security Law in the Hong Kong area and the revision of the electoral system.

The candidates for Hong Kong's Election Committee, Legislative Council and Chief Executive are all products of the new electoral system.

Compared with the development of the political system in the early days of the handover, the current electoral system in Hong Kong has been strongly injected by Beijing with security and order factors, and it has become a political system dominated by Beijing and characterized by the administrative dominance of the Hong Kong government.

This will indeed help maintain Hong Kong's national security, political stability, and improve administrative efficiency. The once-popular chaos of opposition for opposition's sake has been greatly reduced.

But there are two sides to the matter. The democratic component of the new electoral system has been significantly compressed, and the pan-democratic group, which has long held more than half of the public opinion in Hong Kong, has been excluded.

This makes it possible for the new electoral system to be a necessary product of desperation in Beijing's eyes, which can exclude radicalism, nativism, and separatism, thereby ensuring the stability and effectiveness of Hong Kong's politics, but it still faces a relatively large recognition dilemma. , and caused many Hong Kong people to be depressed and disheartened.

Of course, this is also to be expected.

After all, Hong Kong was under British colonial rule for more than 100 years. Hong Kong and the mainland have experienced very different experiences in the course of modern Chinese history, and each has formed different political psychology and ideology.

On June 19, 2022, Li Jiachao led a group of key officials-designated officials to meet reporters.

(Photo by Zhang Haowei)

In the short term, if a Hong Kong ruler similar to Hong Kong Governor MacLehose can emerge in Hong Kong under the new electoral system, carry out drastic reforms, make great efforts to govern, promote social justice, and win the hearts and minds of people with real political achievements, there is a chance It may change the perception of many Hong Kong people and enhance the recognition of the new electoral system and Beijing's governance of Hong Kong.

But in the long run, it is not enough to hope that a "one country, two systems" MacLehose will emerge in Hong Kong.

What Hong Kong needs is not only an effective and responsible chief executive, but an endless stream of effective and responsible rulers of Hong Kong.

Throughout the ages, whether a society can continue to produce responsible and effective politicians often determines how far a society's good governance can go.

Regarding the importance of meritocracy in social development, Singapore's founding prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, once said: "We have successfully moved from the third world to the first world in a generation... To build such a Singapore, we need a strong government, We have to have the most capable, most driven, most dedicated leaders. We are looking for these people and putting them to the test. Only such leaders can keep the economy growing and create good jobs.” He believes: "How much development and progress a country can achieve depends on whether its leaders have the ability to innovate, whether they are willing to learn from other peoples' experience, whether they can implement good ideas quickly and firmly through an efficient public service system, whether they can Convince the majority of the nation that there is value in making difficult reforms."

Although Hong Kong is not a country, the quality of governance, whether it is good or bad, is also inseparable from whether it can effectively select talents.

But at present, the new selection system in Hong Kong is still deeply constrained by the old talent selection mechanism and small circles. It is doubtful whether it can truly and continuously achieve "good talents make good use of them, and those who can live in them".

From this point of view, Hong Kong urgently needs to establish an elite selection mechanism that combines ancient and modern Chinese and foreign experience to select talents and talents, so that the talents can take on the important task of governing Hong Kong.

In addition, a very crucial point is that democracy is an irresistible trend and general trend in line with human nature.

Although there are various problems in the current democratic practice in the world, and the electoral democracy that Hong Kong people generally yearn for is even more problematic, democracy, as a widely recognized core value of modern human society, has long been an indisputable fact.

Of course

, democracy as a value is one thing, and democracy as a system is another. If you want to build a high-quality and sustainable democratic system, it depends on a series of preconditions, not just shouting democratic slogans.

On January 12, 2022, local time, the first session of the seventh Legislative Council of Hong Kong was held in the Chamber of the Legislative Council Complex.


From this logical point of view, the important thing is not to shout democratic slogans and fall into some kind of ideological imagination of democracy, but how to establish a high-quality and sustainable democratic system, so that the value of democracy can be transformed into a kind of "establishing the heart for the world, for the sake of the world". Lives and people establish their own destiny, continue the unique learning for past saints, and create peace for all generations.”

Especially in a situation where electoral democracy or the practice of liberal democracy is in deep trouble, whether Hong Kong can explore a more suitable and better democratic path and give human society another possibility is of more practical significance.

After all, democracy is the promise of the Basic Law of Hong Kong, and the people of Hong Kong yearn for democracy wholeheartedly. It is a matter of course for Hong Kong to explore more possibilities for democracy.

From a larger perspective, democracy in mainland China will be deepened sooner or later, and an operational and binding democratic component must be introduced. However, from the perspective of the current situation in mainland China and the crisis of electoral democracy in the West, mainland China is the best way out. Based on the actual national conditions, a form of democracy beyond electoral democracy has been developed.

But such a form of democracy cannot be created out of thin air, but must be explored and innovated.

Judging from the reality in China today, it is clear that only Hong Kong is the most suitable and well-positioned to explore new forms of democracy.

This is not only the political space conferred by "one country, two systems", but also in line with the wishes of Hong Kong people.

From Beijing's point of view, it is natural to hope that Hong Kong's democracy can take into account national security, political stability, social order and governance effectiveness, and can be integrated into the overall situation of national development.

And Hong Kong society hopes that Hong Kong democracy can guarantee freedom, democracy and human rights.

If Hong Kong democracy can explore a form of balancing the dual demands of Beijing and Hong Kong people, it is neither superior nor inferior; Taking into account the feelings of Hong Kong and individuals, there is both elite governance and democratic constraints, which is undoubtedly instructive for the democratization of the entire China.

Those who do not plan for the world are not enough for a moment; those who do not plan for the overall situation are not enough for one area.

Since Hong Kong has the unique conditions of "one country, two systems",

when Beijing thinks about Hong Kong's democracy today, it might as well take a long-term perspective, start from the overall situation of national development, and use the wisdom, mind, ambition, and responsibility to let Hong Kong democracy explore the path for China's democratization. Promote the development of democracy in Hong Kong.

25 years after the handover ︱ Has Hong Kong politics "mainlandized"?

25 Years of Return | Interview with Jasper Tsang: It will take time for society to get out of 19 years of pain

Source: hk1

All news articles on 2022-06-30

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