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Hong Kong to play active role in nation's modernization push

By Xi Tianqi in Hong Kong | China Daily | Updated: 2023-12-05 09:36
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A view of the Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong, South China. [Photo/IC]

Patriotic events held across SAR to mark Constitution Day, promote prosperity

Hong Kong has the constitutional obligation to play a more active role in the nation's new journey to modernization, officials said on China's Constitution Day on Monday, adding that the city must firmly safeguard national security, better leverage its strengths and further promote patriotic education to achieve this goal.

Speaking at a local seminar under the theme "The Constitution and China's Modernization", Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu emphasized the significance of the Constitution as the fundamental law of the country and the guiding framework for governance in advancing China's modernization.

He stressed that Hong Kong's unique advantages are guaranteed by the constitutional order of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, which is composed of the HKSAR's Basic Law and the nation's Constitution.

To ensure Hong Kong's long-term stability and prosperity, Lee stressed that the SAR must resolutely implement the principle of "patriots administering Hong Kong".

He encouraged residents to actively participate in the district council elections on Dec 10, which will serve as a crucial step in enhancing the SAR's governance system.

The HKSAR also needs to improve and safeguard the laws and implementation mechanisms for safeguarding national security and put more effort into nurturing a new generation that loves the country, possesses a global perspective, is competent, and capable of shouldering the responsibilities of developing "one country, two systems "and the modernization of the nation, Lee said.

At the same seminar, Zheng Yanxiong, director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR, said that the practice of "one country, two systems" in Hong Kong provides a unique and splendid landscape in the process of Chinese modernization.

Only by relying firmly on the Constitution and the Basic Law can Hong Kong leverage its strengths and make greater contributions to the nation's modernization, he said.

Zheng called for Hong Kong to further drive innovative development, accelerate the pace of evolving into an innovation and technology center, and actively participate in national strategies such as the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

He added that national security is the fundamental prerequisite for Chinese modernization, and safeguarding national security is a constitutional responsibility that the SAR must fulfill.

He said that Hong Kong must resolutely implement the National Security Law for Hong Kong.

Zheng said that by strictly enforcing the law to combat activities that jeopardize national security and completing the local legislation of Article 23 of the Basic Law, Hong Kong can create a more secure business environment for global entrepreneurs and investors, and a new period of stability and prosperity.

During a panel session of the seminar, Priscilla Leung Mei-fun, a member of the Hong Kong SAR Basic Law Committee, said that having a good comprehension of the nation's Constitution helps young people in Hong Kong better understand the social landscape and identify their future development direction.

She noted that society is in a period of significant historical change and there are abundant opportunities to seize. She encouraged students in Hong Kong to develop an international perspective and take a more active role in the city and the nation's developments.

Nicholas Chan Hiu-fung, a lawyer and director of the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization Hong Kong Regional Arbitration Centre, said the Constitution is a great educational material to reduce biases and fallacies about the nation, which can guide young people to have a more comprehensive understanding of the country, and strengthen their national identity.

On Monday, the Security Bureau of the Hong Kong government led six disciplined services to hold a flag-raising ceremony for Constitution Day, with a view to enhancing public understanding of the constitutional basis and order of the country and Hong Kong, as well as promoting the spirit of the Constitution.

Curtis Lo contributed to this story.

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