The Chinese central government on Tuesday published a white paper detailing the "one country, two systems" practice in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), stressing the policy as a basic state policy despite new circumstances.
Put forward by late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping in the early 1980s, the "one country, two systems" policy was aimed to realize the peaceful reunification of the country.
According to Deng, it means there is only but one China and under this premise the mainland adheres to socialist system while Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan may retain their capitalist systems over a long time to come. The policy was first applied to solve the question of Hong Kong.
The implementation of the principle of "one country, two systems" in the HKSAR has achieved widely recognized success, said the white paper, published by the State Council Information Office under the title "The Practice of the 'One Country, Two Systems' Policy in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region".
This fully proves that "one country, two systems" is not only the best solution to the Hong Kong question left over from history but also the best institutional arrangement for the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong after its return to the motherland, it said.
Thanks to the policy, the HKSAR exercises a high degree of autonomy in accordance with the law, making Hong Kong continue to prosper, its society remain stable, and full development is being witnessed in all undertakings, the white paper said.
However, the central government has the power of oversight over the high degree of autonomy, it added.
The white paper said the policy enjoys growing popularity in Hong Kong, winning the wholehearted support from Hong Kong compatriots as well as people in all other parts of China. It is also thought highly by the international community.
The policy has ensured Hong Kong's smooth return to the motherland on July 1, 1997, and at the same time, the HKSAR was established and the Basic Law came into effect. Hong Kong entered a new epoch characterized by "one country, two systems," "Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong" and a high degree of autonomy, the white paper said.
After the return to the motherland, Hong Kong made new achievements one after another, as its residents' fundamental rights and freedoms are fully protected, the democratic political system has been steadily promoted.
The HKSAR has maintained steady economic growth, its social programs have been further enhanced, and Hong Kong's international exchanges and its international influence have further expanded, the white paper said.
In the meantime, the central government has made various efforts to support Hong Kong in meeting difficulties and challenges. It also supported Hong Kong in enhancing its competitive strengths, strengthening exchanges and cooperation with the mainland, and ensuring secure and stable supplies of basic necessities to the special administrative region.
However, the white paper said while comprehensive progress has been made on all fronts in the HKSAR, the practice of "one country, two systems" has come to face new circumstances and new problems.
"Some people in Hong Kong have yet felt comfortable with the changes. Still some are even confused or lopsided in their understanding of 'one country, two systems' and the Basic Law. Many wrong views that are currently rife in Hong Kong concerning its economy, society and development of its political structure are attributable to this," the white paper said.
The paper called for fully and accurately understanding the meaning of "one country, two systems" policy, saying that "the high degree of autonomy of HKSAR is not an inherent power, but one that comes solely from the authorization by the central leadership. The high degree of autonomy of the HKSAR is not full autonomy, nor a decentralized power."
The white paper called for resolutely safeguarding the authority of the country's Constitution and the Basic Law of Hong Kong, adding the Hong Kong people who govern Hong Kong "should above all be patriotic."
Meanwhile, the white paper said it is necessary to stay alert to the attempt of outside forces to use Hong Kong to interfere in China's domestic affairs, and prevent and repel the attempt made by a very small number of people who act in collusion with outside forces to interfere with the implementation of "one country, two systems" policy in Hong Kong.
Firmly advancing the cause of "one country, two systems" is the common wish of all the Chinese people, Hong Kong compatriots included, and is in the fundamental interests of the country and people, the general and long-term interests of Hong Kong and the interests of foreign investors, the white paper said.