White paper underlines Hong Kong’s healthy shift away from Western-style democracy
- It was not until Hong Kong’s return to Chinese sovereignty that its democratic development truly began
- With Beijing’s support, Hong Kong is developing a democratic system that suits its circumstances
It shows that the Communist Party and the Chinese government support the development of democracy in Hong Kong, while those who chant democracy slogans – but at the same time are acting against China and destabilising Hong Kong – in fact undermine Hong Kong’s democratic development.
As we all know, before returning to China in 1997, Hong Kong was under British colonial rule for a long time. The nature of colonial rule meant that there was no democracy in Hong Kong.
The colonial governor was never elected by Hong Kong residents. It was not until Hong Kong’s return to Chinese sovereignty that Hongkongers became the masters of their own affairs and began to enjoy genuine democracy and a high degree of autonomy.
When the “one country, two systems” policy was proposed back in the early 1980s, the Chinese government had already drawn up a blueprint for democracy in Hong Kong for after its return to the motherland.
The central government has taken significant steps to advance democracy in Hong Kong. They demonstrate that it is the motherland that created and advances Hong Kong’s democratic system.
Due to the 2019 turmoil, the House Committee of the sixth Legislative Council was unable to function for more than six months in the 2019-2020 legislative session. As a result, a total of 14 bills could not be scrutinised and followed up in time, and bills dealing with matters such as improving welfare for local residents and vulnerable communities failed to pass.
The central government took important measures to end the violence and chaos, and restored order in Hong Kong.
All of this shows it is the motherland that has restored and upheld democracy in Hong Kong.
Wang Zhenmin is head of the Institute of State Governance and director of the Center for Hong Kong and Macau Studies at Tsinghua University