For Hong Kong residents and all others who wish it well, nothing can be as reassuring as President Xi Jinping’s pledge of “maintaining Hong Kong’s unique status and advantages” which he made in his speech after presiding over the swearing-in ceremony for the sixth-term governing team of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on Friday. The day when the city celebrated the 25th anniversary of its return to the motherland.
No matter how hard the China-haters in the West try to besmirch Hong Kong in order to derail the city’s socioeconomic development as part of their design to check China’s rise, the SAR, given its remarkable achievements over the past 25 years under the “one country, two systems” framework, will not fall into their trap.
Contrary to the claims of those Machiavellian Western politicians and media outlets, the SAR has consistently excelled in global rankings. For example, the World Justice Project’s Rule of Law Index, a leading source of independent, authentic data on the rule of law situation of 139 countries or jurisdictions, ranked Hong Kong 19th on its 2021 list.
While the World Competitiveness Yearbook 2022 ranked Hong Kong fifth out of the 63 most competitive economies, up from seventh in 2021 and ahead of the United States (10th), Germany (15th) and the United Kingdom (23rd), the Fraser Institute in its “Economic Freedom of the World 2021 Annual Report” again ranked Hong Kong as the world’s freest economy.
And the World Bank’s 2021 Worldwide Governance Indicators placed the SAR 15th on a list of 209 countries/jurisdictions in the “control of corruption” category, and second in Asia.
These factors, along with many others, have helped propel the SAR toward greater prosperity and success, including maintaining its status as a leading global financial (after New York and London), trading and shipping hub. And that has been possible because it follows the “one country, two systems” principle, which President Xi asserted will continue, for there is no reason to change the “time-tested, good system” that benefits both the country and the two SARs (the other being Macao).
Hong Kong residents do not need “Washington’s solidarity with the people of Hong Kong”. They only need Washington to stop poking its nose in the city’s affairs, for they are China’s internal affairs. And they certainly do not need UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s sovereignty transgressing claim of “not giving up on” Hong Kong, for the UK has no jurisdiction over the SAR.
Standing on a firmer institutional foundation after major institutional reforms over the past two years, Hong Kong is on a new journey to achieve greater glories by leveraging the support of the central government and efforts of Hong Kong residents. Indeed, an even brighter future beckons Hong Kong.
Editorial, China Daily