Saturday marked the 30th anniversary of the promulgation of the Basic Law. As we reflect on the achievements and inadequacies of the city’s most important institutional foundation, there can be no dispute that it is fraught with confusion and conflict, so much so that the meaning of some of its provisions are still matters of heated debate. The notion of “accurate and comprehensive implementation” remains an issue of concern to both Beijing and Hong Kong. It is most unfortunate that the raging coronavirus outbreak has prevented wider commemoration and discussion of what is essentially the cornerstone of Hong Kong’s success under Chinese rule. But it does not mean that the issues can be put aside indefinitely. It is, indeed, high time for Beijing and the public to critically examine what went wrong in the past, and ways to improve. With the political turmoil sparked by the anti-extradition bill protests last year still lingering, the concerns raised by Beijing ‘s Liaison Office director Luo Huining and former Basic Law committee vice-chair Elsie Leung Oi-sie are not surprising. While the pressure on Hong Kong to uphold “one country”, including an early enactment of national security law, is expected to grow, protection of the freedoms and the high degree of autonomy is just as important. The Basic Law promised that our way of life shall remain unchanged for 50 years after the handover. In two years, the special administrative region will be 25 years old. That means the “one country, two systems” formula, under which Hong Kong enjoys a high degree of autonomy and a range of freedoms unavailable on the mainland, shall reach the halfway mark. As we move on, some questions are inevitable. Should the Basic Law be amended in light of the experience in implementation? More importantly, what is to become of the city after 2047? Sensitive as they are, the issues cannot be brushed aside indefinitely. Sensible debate is needed to help foster a consensus on the way forward. The views expressed in an online forum participated by some political heavyweights on both sides of the border may not necessarily be agreed by everyone. But the concerns are probably shared by Beijing. Putting two fundamentally different political and social systems side by side under the one country framework is bound to have friction, if not conflict. This owes much to Beijing and Hong Kong’s different understanding of how the formula should be implemented. It would do well for both sides to appreciate the concerns of the other and foster common ground on how best to move forward. Notwithstanding the turbulence, one country, two systems and the Basic Law remain the best governance model.