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A giant screen in Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay shows Chinse President Xi Jinping at a press conference after the close of the party congress. Photo: Sam Tsang

‘Primary political task’ for Hong Kong to roll out activities boosting awareness of spirit of Communist Party’s 20th congress: Beijing’s point man on city affairs

  • HKMAO director Xia Baolong elaborates on state leader’s speech at recently concluded session, pointing to affirmation of ‘one country, two systems’
  • Beijing’s liaison office in Hong Kong also holds ‘leadership meeting’ to learn spirit of congress

It is Hong Kong’s “primary political task” to roll out carefully crafted activities to boost residents’ understanding of the spirit of the Communist Party’s 20th congress led by Chinese President Xi Jinping, a senior Beijing official overseeing the city’s affairs has said.

Xia Baolong, director of the State Council’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office (HKMAO), also pledged support in developing the local economy as well as solving deep-seated economic and social problems to fulfil the direction reaffirmed by Xi.

During an HKMAO meeting on Monday, the content of which was revealed by the organisation on Tuesday night, Xia elaborated on the state leader’s congress speech delivered on October 16, saying the full affirmation of the “one country, two systems” governing principle was a “solemn declaration to the world” that also provided fundamental guidelines on Hong Kong and Macau.

HKMAO chief Xia Baolong. Photo: Imaginechina

“The [report] profoundly summarised the practice of one country, two systems, especially the historic achievements of Hong Kong from chaos to governance … emphasising such a best institutional arrangement must be adhered to for a long time,” he said, adding the speech marked the Chinese leader’s “full affirmation”.

Xi’s opening address at the party’s twice-a-decade congress in Beijing suggested Hong Kong would be further integrated into national development plans and play a “better role” in realising the “great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation”.

What the Hong Kong links of China’s top leadership team mean for city

The president also reaffirmed the longevity of Hong Kong’s one country, two systems governing policy, and its “patriots-only” administration.

Amendments were also made to the party constitution, including an addition to highlight the importance of one country, two systems as Beijing’s fundamental governing principle for Hong Kong and Macau.


China’s 20th party congress concludes with bigger than expected leadership reshuffle

China’s 20th party congress concludes with bigger than expected leadership reshuffle

Xia on Monday said that in the near future, learning, publicising and implementing the spirit of the congress would be the primary political task, hailing it as a master plan guiding the current and future development of the party and the country.

“All departments and units must earnestly learn with a high sense of political responsibility and mission,” he said, adding that officials should take the lead in promoting the messages through different activities to achieve concrete results.

“Activities should be crafted to extensively promote the cause. [The organisers] should also adopt language that can be understood by Hong Kong and Macau societies.”

State and city flags line a bridge in Wan Chai. Photo: Jelly Tse

It is understood the Hong Kong government plans to host a series of seminars for civil servants to learn about the congress – akin to those held earlier to understand Xi’s keynote speech on July 1 when he was in town to mark the city’s 25th anniversary of its return to Chinese rule.

Beijing’s liaison office in Hong Kong, the Federation of Hong Kong Industries and the Hong Kong CPPCC Youth Association have already held seminars this week, while several political parties and organisations have similar ones in the pipeline.

China’s 20th Communist Party congress and why it matters to Hong Kong

Chan Yung, vice-chairman of the city’s biggest pro-establishment party, the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, and chairman of the New Territories Association of Societies, said he would attend about 20 related seminars in the coming month, giving speeches and answering queries from residents, the business sector and Chinese medicine practitioners.

He said he would incorporate details of city leader John Lee Ka-chiu’s maiden policy address while explaining the messages from Xi.

“The party congress has laid out the country’s blueprint and targets, but residents still care about livelihood problems, which can be answered by the policy address,” Chan said.

Pressure on Hong Kong to pass own national security law: political heavyweights

Xia, meanwhile, said that to study and implement thoroughly the spirit of the congress, not only was an accurate implementation of one country, two systems and the principle of “patriots ruling Hong Kong” required, but Beijing’s backing for Hong Kong and Macau in “developing the economy, improving people’s livelihood, and solving deep-seated contradictions and problems in economic and social development” was also needed.

There was also a need to build a united front in support of one country, two systems more widely at home and abroad, he added.