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Law and order bedrock for Hong Kong's prosperity: China Daily editorial

China Daily | Updated: 2019-07-01 20:37
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Following on from the earlier violence that erupted during protests against the proposed amendments to the territory's extradition laws, there were more clashes between police and demonstrators on Monday, when Hong Kong celebrated the 22nd anniversary of its founding as a special administrative region of the People's Republic of China on July 1, 1997.

The unrest is among those, particularly Hong Kong's youth, who feel unable to benefit from the SAR's development and excluded from its decision-making process - sentiments that have led to populist movements elsewhere - and those who are using these grievances and disturbances as a means to serve their own agendas and put pressure on Beijing.

In her speech at a flag-raising ceremony on Monday morning, Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor acknowledged that her administration has to do more to grasp public sentiments accurately and pledged her government's work will be closer and more responsive to the aspirations, sentiments and opinions of the whole community.

But that does not mean there will be any weakening of the "one country, two systems" framework that was established to smooth the return of Hong Kong to the motherland. That the SAR is an inalienable part of the PRC is a constitutional reality enshrined in Article 1 of the Basic Law.

Yet ever since Britain returned Hong Kong's sovereignty back to China, there has been one attempt after another to undermine law and order in the SAR and obstruct its healthy development.

China's Foreign Ministry spokesman once again felt compelled to chide Britain on Monday for "flagrantly interfering" in Hong Kong matters and reminding it, and other countries, that the SAR's affairs are purely China's concern.

Under the framework of "one country, two systems", the central government remains steadfast in supporting the chief executive and the SAR government in governing Hong Kong in accordance with law.

Lam has said her government is setting no easy goals and avoiding no difficult tasks, which is bound to expose divergent opinions, as no society is homologous. But there can be no justification for the orchestrated outbreaks of violence, which are not condoned by any law abiding citizens.

Looking ahead, the only way for the SAR to sustain economic growth and maintain stability is for it to further integrate its own development into the nation's overall development, especially by playing its part in advancing the Belt and Road Initiative and Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. Both development programs serve as practical platforms for Hong Kong to generate more growth momentum that can be translated into practical benefits for local residents.

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