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Return 25|When Hong Kong’s linear thinking and Beijing’s dialectical thinking govern Hong Kong’s elites, they must act more actively

2022-07-04T23:46:49.179Z

Twenty-five years after Hong Kong's return to the motherland, the central government's thinking in governing Hong Kong has changed from "well water does not violate river water" to "do something and do something else", and then revised it to "actively implement comprehensive governance", hoping to maintain the vitality of "one country, two systems" for a long time.



Twenty-five years after Hong Kong's return to the motherland, the central government's thinking in governing Hong Kong has changed from "well water does not violate river water" to "do something and do something else", and then revised it to "actively implement comprehensive governance", hoping to maintain the vitality of "one country, two systems" for a long time. and creativity; but in the eyes of some Hong Kong people, this positive action has had a negative impact, resulting in a narrowing of "high degree of autonomy".

However, the central government and Hong Kong have never been a concept of "one and the other". "Comprehensive governance" and "high degree of autonomy" also have a dialectical and unified relationship, a reasonable confrontation structure, and the necessity of organic integration. It can be seen that "Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong" "There is still a lot to do. The elites in Hong Kong governance should take the initiative to connect their thinking, innovate their consciousness, strengthen governance, and improve their advantages, so as to continue to "dare to be the first in the world and dare to be trend-setters" in the torrent of the country's deepening of reform and opening up.


When President Xi Jinping came to Hong Kong to attend the inauguration ceremony of the sixth SAR government, he mentioned "a high degree of autonomy" seven times, but some people regarded it as "because the central government's policy of governing Hong Kong is strict and the space for Hong Kong people's autonomy is narrow, it is even more necessary to continue Bring this golden lacquer sign again."

(Joint interview/Associated Press)

When linear thinking meets dialectical thinking


, it will inevitably become "chicken and duck talk"

Whenever the central government makes a speech or communiqué on Hong Kong-related policies, the Hong Kong media always counts how many times "Hong Kong people administer Hong Kong" or "a high degree of autonomy" is mentioned. The space for Hong Kong people to self-govern is narrow; but when the central government has said a lot, for example, when President Xi Jinping came to Hong Kong recently to attend the inauguration ceremony of the sixth SAR government headed by Chief Executive Li Jiachao, he mentioned "a high degree of autonomy" seven times - a record high. , but it was regarded as "the central government's policy of governing Hong Kong has become stricter, and the space for Hong Kong people's autonomy has become narrow, so it is even more necessary to continue to mention this golden lacquer sign."

This kind of wishful thinking of "self-justification" certainly cannot reflect the laws and logic of the central government's policies, but it does occupy a lot of public opinion. Even some patriotic Hong Kongers who think they understand the central government's intentions use this as a reference. It can be seen that There is still a certain ideological gap and a gap in understanding between Hong Kong and the central government, so there is a

strange phenomenon that it is

generally difficult to dialectically view the thinking of governing Hong Kong.

However, if we want to go deeper, we must not unilaterally blame the people of Hong Kong. After all, after more than a hundred years of British colonial rule, it is inevitable to develop a mindset, and the central government did not require Hong Kong to do it in the early days of the handover.

One of the most difficult things for Hong Kong to connect with the central government is that Hong Kong has been cultivated by European and American knowledge systems and educational models for a long time, forming a

"linear thinking"

- a habit of keeping the understanding of problems at the surface rather than the essence, and simplifying multi-element problems into one element Problems, see problems as a binary choice between one and the other, and look at problems from a "static" perspective; but in the mainland, especially the Communist Party, which believes in historical materialism, they advocate

"dialectical thinking"

- often based on the development of things The process and its evolution law are comprehensively understood from the whole and essence, and the problem is viewed from a "dynamic" perspective.

When Hong Kong, which is accustomed to linear and static thinking, encounters a center that pays attention to dialectical and dynamic thinking, it will inevitably become "chicken and duck"

.

For example, when it comes to the promise of "one country, two systems unchanged for 50 years", most of the Hong Kong society understands it as "nothing can change within 50 years" and "even if the world is changing, it must remain unchanged and respond to all changes". However, the Central Committee believes that "timely changes are all to maintain the same basic policy." For example, Xia Baolong, director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, once emphasized that this is a philosophy rather than a numerical concept, and Luo Huining, director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government, also said that "change and change , is objective, dialectical, and developmental.”

Another example is the understanding of "one country, two systems". Some people in Hong Kong society once cut it into a "contradictory" relationship between "one country" and "two systems", and even rejected "one country" and "two systems" in order to emphasize "two systems". But

the

Central Committee will say that the two are a relationship of “dialectical unity”, a relationship between first and last, source and stream, but not a relationship of juxtaposition, parallelism and opposition, because if there is no “one country”, there will be no "Two systems"

.

Wang Zhimin, former director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government, extended discussions on this basis to correctly handle the six pairs of important dialectical relations of "one country, two systems", which, in addition to one country and two systems, also include the Constitution and the Basic Law, the overall governance of the central government and the SAR A high degree of autonomy, integration into national development and maintaining Hong Kong's advantages, the central government and the SAR government, "Hong Kong-style thinking, Hong Kong affairs in Hong Kong" and "Beijing thinking, mainland way".

Among the six pairs of relationships, the one that Hong Kong cannot understand the most is the relationship between the overall governance of the central government and the high degree of autonomy of the SAR.

In modern political science, "autonomy" means that a sovereign state authorizes local governments to generate governance and deliberation representatives in a relatively autonomous manner, and to exercise the political power to self-manage public affairs in accordance with the law. the higher the degree.

Long before the Sino-British negotiation, some ethnic minority areas in China had already practiced "regional autonomy." Later, in order to implement the "one country, two systems" arrangement, Article 31 of the Constitution was amended in 1982 to allow the establishment of special administrative regions when necessary. The National People's Congress shall formulate its implementation system in accordance with the law and grant relevant autonomy.

The size of the space for a high degree of autonomy depends on the level of political trust between the central government and Hong Kong.

(file picture)

Total governance and a high degree of autonomy


are never "one trade-off"

For those represented by the pan-democrats, the "high degree of autonomy" of the SAR government is the personal commitment of Deng Xiaoping, the founder of "One Country, Two Systems" and the late top leader of the Communist Party of China, and the supreme power expressly stipulated in the Basic Law of Hong Kong, including: "Executive power, legislative power, independent judicial power and final adjudication power", some people even interpret it as "complete autonomy" or "maximum degree of autonomy"; It seems that this is just an "arbitrary" statement made by the State Council Information Office in June 2014 when it published the white paper "The Practice of "One Country, Two Systems" in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, to "tighten Hong Kong policy and weaken a high degree of autonomy."

Afterwards, whether it was Xi Jinping's "Report to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China" in his capacity as General Secretary of the Communist Party of China at the end of October 2017 that he proposed "the organic combination of comprehensive governance and a high degree of autonomy", or his recent (July 1) speech at the Sixth National Congress of the Communist Party of China. At the inauguration ceremony of the new SAR government, it was reiterated that "the implementation of the central government's overall governance power and the protection of the special administrative region's high degree of autonomy are unified and linked" - both are inevitably interpreted by some people as "overall governance" versus "high degree of autonomy" The "infringement" and "encroachment" of the people are even less able to understand what "organic integration" means, how to "unify and connect", and how to view it dialectically.

However, for the central government, "comprehensive governance" has existed since Hong Kong's handover, and it coexists with "a high degree of autonomy".

According to the above-mentioned white paper, the state regained both the "sovereignty" and "governance" of Hong Kong from July 1, 1997, and "authorized" the establishment of a special administrative region directly under the Central People's Government in accordance with Article 31 of the Constitution. Implement the Basic Law passed by the National People's Congress, thereby enjoying a "high degree of autonomy" conferred and supervised by the central government. Diplomatic management, the appointment and removal of chief executives and key officials, etc.

If it is to be presented in a mathematical formula, the overall governance of the central government = the high degree of autonomy of Hong Kong authorized by the central government + the supervision power of the central government over Hong Kong + the direct exercise of power by the central government over Hong Kong.

According to its logic, before the "authorization", the central government has full direct control over Hong Kong, which is called "one country"; The power of final adjudication and other partial governance powers are delegated to the Hong Kong government to exercise on its own, so as to maintain the original capitalist system and way of life unchanged, which is called "two systems".

In this way,

there is a symbiotic relationship between "sovereignty" and "authorization" between full governance and a high degree of autonomy; it also reflects the "one country" over "two systems" between the central government and Hong Kong. , and the "dependency" of "two systems" on "one country".

In the view of the central government, "high degree of autonomy" is essentially "authorized power" rather than "inherent power". When the environment of "authorization" changes, the content of "authorization" cannot remain unchanged; in other words, The central government can "tighten" or "release" the "governance" granted to Hong Kong at any time in response to changes in the situation - this is also after the turmoil against the amendment bill in 2019. legal basis.

As for the "organic combination" or "unification" of the central government's overall governance and the SAR's high degree of autonomy, the former literally means that the two have their own strengths to combine with each other, so as to learn from each other and achieve better results; the latter can Understanding becomes "organic unity", "unity of opposites" and "dialectical unity" similar to "organic combination", that is, it requires both parties to the conflict to consciously take the other as the condition for their existence in the process of their respective development, so as to combine into a relatively stable whole , to achieve mutual support, complementarity, and complementary advantages—to put it more simply, it refers to the two parties that are in conflict, if they can find a dynamic equilibrium point, they can achieve “unity” when they are “opposed”, and form a politically active “reunification”. Organisms”

—if viewed in the framework of total governance and a high degree of autonomy, the two are interactive and mutually constitutive and at the same time define each other

.

With the outbreak of the turmoil against the amendment bill in 2019, the confrontational structure of "one country, two systems" has undoubtedly changed.

(file picture)

From "well not breaking the river" to "comprehensive governance",


the central government actively "governs Hong Kong according to law"

However, no matter what the central government's basis is, it will be difficult for Hong Kong to digest it for a while. After all, it has only been eight years since "full governance" was proposed.

Although the previous thinking of the central government governing Hong Kong has been adjusted from "well water does not violate river water" to "doing something and not doing something", it basically did not pay much attention to the ideological gap and understanding gap between Hong Kong and the central government. At the end of the year, the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China officially entered a new stage of gradually emphasizing the "comprehensive governance of the central government".

Tian Feilong, director of the National Association for Hong Kong and Macao Studies and associate professor of the Law School of Beihang University, once explained in an article that the

central government was facing a series of challenges such as Hong Kong's political reform controversy and local separatism, so it adjusted the specific Hong Kong governance strategy adapted to the times in response to the situation. In the past, the thinking and policy orientation of Hong Kong governance that emphasized "two systems" will be reviewed and revised, and the focus will be shifted to the legal meaning of "one country", breaking the legal chaos and deadlock of "one law with different forms"

, and then reshaping "one country, two systems". ' constitutional order.

Tian Feilong also mentioned that since returning to China in 1997, the central government has managed Hong Kong through a two-pronged approach of "governing Hong Kong with a united front" and "governing Hong Kong according to the law" - the former refers to the "patriots governing Hong Kong" as the core to carry out the united front work, hoping to unite "Hong Kong". The biggest consensus of "One Country, Two Systems" has prompted the "Hong Kong opposition" to actively transform into a "loyal opposition"; however, for most of the time, the central government has taken into account Hong Kong's international background and historical reasons, so the appearance of "uniting front and governing Hong Kong" is relatively "Ruling Hong Kong by law" is more prominent.

However,

after the occupation operation in 2014, the central government obviously changed the paradigm of "governing Hong Kong with a united front" to "governing Hong Kong by law", and mobilized the Hong Kong and Macau Research Centers of higher education institutions to strengthen the "top-level design" and "bottom-line thinking" of "governing Hong Kong by law" It

seeks

to transform the normative resources in the Basic Law into specific legal principles and basis for the governance of Hong Kong in accordance with the thinking and method of the rule of law. Continue to enrich and improve the specific legal order of one country, two systems, and ensure the full and accurate implementation of the Basic Law.

However,

in addition to different ways of thinking between Hong Kong and the central government, there are also differences in their understanding of "governing Hong Kong by law".

For example, Hong Kong, which follows the common law, believes that the "rule of law" should reflect "limiting power by law", while the mainland, which follows the socialist legal system, regards the "rule of law" as a "tool of governance".

One of the authors of the aforementioned white paper, Peking University law professor Qiang Shigong, wrote an article before the central government promulgated the "Hong Kong National Security Law" in 2020 to explain the specific differences between the two concepts-

First, the British Hong Kong government has successfully implanted the common law tradition in Hong Kong, promoting the "liberal view of the rule of law" that emphasizes the combination of "the regularity of constitutional legal order" and "the professionalism of bureaucratic rationalization" to take root in Hong Kong. Therefore, a kind of thinking that divides "norms" and "facts" into a simple binary, not only rejects the emotional identity of human nature, but also denies historical cultural traditions, and only treats these two factors as "facts" and incorporates them into ordinary "norms". governance theory; however, the governance concept of contemporary China is a governance technology that transcends the liberal concept of the rule of law, and will develop the “rule of law” under the broader political order—the central government will also pay more attention when formulating governance policies. The specificity, historicity, and locality of "facts", and in this way connect the "norms" blocked by the "liberal view of the rule of law".

Secondly, "rule of law" as the governance method of a modern country, in order to achieve "good law and good governance", whether "legislation" or "enforcement" must go back to the historical situation, in order to help legislators or enforcers correctly understand the law, And use the law to set goals and directions.

Because the importance of "rule of law" lies not only in "law" itself, but also in a set of theoretical narratives on how to understand and interpret it, which must contain emotions and beliefs, values ​​and goals, understanding and direction. , and all of these just determine the direction and process of the "fa"'s operation

.

Qiang Shigong said that whether the rulers can make good use of the "rule of law" technology to govern the society is a major test of their ruling philosophy, ruling ability, ruling skills and ruling level. Therefore, even with the same set of legal systems, However, under the operation of different countries, ethnic groups, cultures, ruling groups, and legal person groups, completely different governance effects will be produced.

Finally, at the beginning of the Sino-British negotiations, the central government was faced with a dilemma between "norm" (China itself has sovereignty over Hong Kong) and "fact" (British exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong). Combined into) the "fact" that China has resumed the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong, the central government not only needs to take political action to "take back" Hong Kong, but also needs to formulate a theoretical discourse on the governance of Hong Kong - this is the "norm" by Deng Xiaoping in the practice of "socialism with Chinese characteristics". It is summarized as "one country, two systems", that is, the coexistence of "facts" of socialism and capitalism has been raised to the level of "normative" coexistence, and the "norm" of the Basic Law has been formed. "Theoretical connotation.

Faced with a series of challenges such as disputes over Hong Kong's political reform and local separatism, the central government adjusted its specific strategy for governing Hong Kong in response to the needs of the times, reviewed and revised the thinking and policy orientation of governing Hong Kong that emphasized the "two systems" in the past, and shifted its focus to The legal meaning of "one country".

(Photo by Yu Junliang)

Cherish "a high degree of autonomy" and do a good job of "Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong"


Hong Kong has no idle time for depression

However, I believe that even the elites in Hong Kong may not fully understand this set of legal logic, let alone ordinary Hong Kong people?

It is no wonder that whenever the central government issues a speech or communiqué on Hong Kong-related policies, people can only guess the tightness of the central government's policy of governing Hong Kong based on the number of occurrences of "Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong" or "a high degree of autonomy", and even the central government's overall governance power and Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy is placed on the opposite side, sinking into the negative sentiment of "comprehensive governance weakens the high degree of autonomy".

Chen Duanhong, vice-chairman of the National Association for Hong Kong and Macao Studies and a professor at Peking University Law School, published an article "Understanding Hong Kong Politics" in 2016, using "confrontation" rather than "opposition" to describe the relationship between the central government's overall governance and Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy.

In his view,

"confrontation" is the fundamental feature of Hong Kong's political spiritual structure, including vicious opposition and confrontation, as well as legitimate and normal contradictions, because "one country, two systems" itself has surpassed the principle of homogeneity of modern countries, and it allows the Socialism as a national system and capitalism as a regional system exist simultaneously within a sovereign country, and there will inevitably be a phenomenon of "antinomy"

- two theories or theories are established but contradict each other, including the internationalization of Hong Kong and the sovereignty of Hong Kong. Naturalization, administrative districts and specialization, residents and citizens, capitalist democracy and Communist Party leadership, common law and Chinese-style civil law, a high degree of autonomy and central supervision.

He also pointed out that

a normal confrontation is beneficial to "one country, two systems", because Hong Kong and the central government can seek dynamic balance and develop a consultation mechanism in the confrontation, thereby reducing confrontation and strengthening cooperation

.

"In the confrontation structure, we do not have to expect the kind of harmony that is integrated and intimate, but seeks heterogeneous cooperation on the premise of maintaining national unity and security. Hong Kong people should cherish the great blessing of "one country, two systems", and do not abuse the confrontation structure, Abuse of the freedom and power of ‘say no’.” Chen Duanhong advised Hong Kong society at the beginning of “Understanding Hong Kong Politics”, but unfortunately, with the outbreak of the anti-amendment bill in 2019, the confrontational structure of “one country, two systems” undoubtedly changed.

After several years, Chen Duanhong said in an exclusive interview with "Hong Kong 01" on the eve of the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the motherland, "The tension is not so great." He has three explanations: First, "confrontation" is a neutral word, and there are good ones. There are also bad ones, which are easy to be abused, just like the "Goddess of Ernes" in Greek mythology, with two faces, one is the "Mother of Evil" who led to the Trojan War, and the other is competitive, self-motivated and unyielding. Second, the reason why Hong Kong politics presents a confrontational structure is because the central government allows Hong Kong to implement capitalism and mainland socialism to form a competitive relationship, then in terms of constitutional design, if Hong Kong’s capitalism can develop and obtain For the benefit of capitalism, the constitutional structure must reflect the elements of this confrontation, that is, the above-mentioned six "antinomies"; thirdly, if any party to the confrontation goes to extremes and does not know how to compromise, the situation will be more troublesome, because the confrontation is a This kind of tension, there is always a degree, in order to maintain.

"I hope that the necessary tension can still be maintained." Looking back at the changes in the confrontation structure in Hong Kong, Chen Duanhong said frankly, "If there is no necessary tension, Hong Kong will gradually lose its competitiveness. If the entire social and political structure of Hong Kong is without competition Spirit, then, society as a whole, whether it is compared with mainland cities, or compared with Singapore or other international metropolises, the competitiveness will decline.

To avoid vicious confrontation, we must maintain normal confrontation

.” He still He is full of confidence in "one country, two systems", because the confrontational structure is a kind of dynamic balance. "Sometimes this side may be stronger, and sometimes the other side is stronger, but as long as you don't go to extremes, you can actually adjust it slowly."

It is undeniable that in recent years, Hong Kong has been in a three-phase overlapping cycle of "difficult economic transformation", "prominent social contradictions", and "political turmoil". Take a negative attitude towards various adjustments to the central government's thinking and policies for governing Hong Kong.

However, if we only see "full governance", but ignore its "organic integration" or "unification" with "high degree of autonomy", it is easy to infinitely magnify the negative impact of "full governance", and then Forgetting the important governance role shouldered by a "high degree of autonomy" will inevitably result in self-diminishing Hong Kong SAR's positive status and positive role in "One Country, Two Systems".

In fact, "Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong" still has great potential. The elites in governing Hong Kong should take the initiative to connect their thinking, innovate their consciousness, strengthen governance, enhance their advantages, and stimulate their vitality. Be trendy."

For details, please pay attention to the Hong Kong 01 Electronic Weekly published on July 4, 2022.

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Source: hk1

All news articles on 2022-07-04

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