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‘One country, two systems’ takes root in Hong Kong

140929173816-hk-two-systems-graphic-horizontal-large-galleryIn the Hong Kong Legislative Council (LegCo) election held Sunday, it is reported that the pro-establishment camp won 41 out of 70 seats, similar to the proportion in the last LegCo election. What’s notable is that within the opposition camp, localist hopefuls won six seats. Nathan Law, 23, who was a member of the Hong Kong Federation of Students during the Occupy Central movement, became the youngest lawmaker.
Localists don’t expressly advocate “Hong Kong independence.” Votes are mostly from young people who are anxious about jobs and houses and echo the localists to vent discontent with their reality. They are not necessarily pro-independence.
The pro-establishment camp still holds a majority of seats, but the opposition maintains its veto power and the increasing number of young pro-democracy activists herald more difficulties for Hong Kong’s governance and a more complicated struggle within the LegCo. But an order is meanwhile being forged under the “one country, two systems” policy.
First and foremost, the central government has built its authority. The political reform is going on and the Basic Law and the central government’s will have been safeguarded in the process. Before the latest election, independence advocates were banned from being candidates, which Hong Kong finds acceptable.
Localists were elected lawmakers via rules made according to the Basic Law and have become part of the system. How the nation’s political elasticity responds to the changes brought about by the LegCo election to maximize the positive factors will be critical.
The stronger opposition force and the rise of localists don’t necessarily mean a failure of Hong Kong governance. It would be too much if we expect Hong Kong to embrace the Chinese mainland more avidly than other Chinese cities such as Shanghai and Shenzhen in a short period of time. And as Hong Kong adopts multiple-party elections, it’s not unusual that the opposition grows.
As long as Hong Kong remains a rational society, its status of being a Chinese city will never be defied. It’s more important that LegCo operates in accordance with the Basic Law.
Hong Kong is joined to the world’s second-largest economy and has independent executive and judicial power. It will naturally take full advantage of privileges to maximize its interests. Some people consider “Hong Kong independence” as a stunt for political games, but it won’t become a political campaign.
It is difficult to govern Hong Kong. This is what China cannot avoid as a large power. We can learn to understand China’s governance from more dimensions and enhance the country’s tenacity and tolerance. In this way we can take the conundrum in Hong Kong calmly.
(Global Times)

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