Official applauds Hong Kong’s new electoral system to balance social interests and promote democracy

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Photo taken on July 14, 2020 shows Golden Bauhinia Square in Hong Kong, southern China, July 14, 2020 (Xinhua)

Hong Kong’s revamped electoral system balances the city’s interests and is in line with true Hong Kong democracy, which has blindly followed Western-style democracy for quite some time, said a senior official who oversees Hong Kong affairs in a speech on Monday, ahead of the city’s Legislative Council (LegCo) elections on December 19.

Analysts said the official’s approval of the new electoral system sends a signal to Hong Kong society that the system is not seeking to shape a Western-style democracy in that city, but one that fits into Hong Kong. the context of one country, two systems, and also serves as a rebuttal to the West’s slander and grumbling against the upcoming LegCo elections in the city.

The speech was delivered on Monday by Xia Baolong, director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Bureau of the Chinese State Council and vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.

During the speech, Xia said that the new electoral system in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) demonstrates broad representation, political inclusion, balanced participation, fairness and competitiveness, which balances social interests, promotes democracy and improves governance.

The new electoral system is being put into practice step by step, and a new electoral committee, which embodies the principle of “patriots ruling Hong Kong“, is moving forward smoothly, according to Xia.

On December 19, Hong Kong SAR will hold its Legislative Council elections, which have been postponed for more than a year due to COVID-19.

Xia noted that this is of great importance for the implementation of the principle of “patriots ruling Hong Kong” and that the election is of great importance for the development of a democracy adapted to the reality of Hong Kong. and the formation of a new model of good governance. in Hong Kong.

The new electoral system has attracted more candidates from all walks of life, Xia said. Some are business, academic and professional elites, others are grassroots workers and personnel, others are native Hong Kongers, Putonghua speakers, people born on the island of Taiwan, and naturalized Chinese, according to Xia.

Carrie Lam, Managing Director of Hong Kong SAR, spoke on Monday in response to Xia’s remarks. Lam said that the improvement of the electoral system is aimed at implementing the fundamental principle of “patriots ruling Hong Kong”, ensuring that members of the Legislative Council are patriots and act in the interests of the country’s development and prosperity and Hong Kong’s long-term stability.

The Hong Kong SAR government hopes to work together and cooperate with members of the new term of the Legislative Council to promote various policies and initiatives aimed at developing the economy and improving livelihoods, ushering in a new era of good governance in Hong Kong, Lam said.

Xia’s speech sends a signal to Hong Kong that the new electoral system must shape a democracy in the context of one country, two systems, instead of a Western-style democracy, Tian Feilong, associate professor at the faculty law student from Beihang University and a member of the China Association for Hong Kong and Macao Studies, told the Global Times.

The benefits of the new electoral system, which includes representation, fairness and inclusiveness, prevent Hong Kong from entering Western democracy, which was extremely concentrated in elites, societal avulsion, partisan bickering and the rise of populism, Tian said.

Democratic models recently became the focus of a China-US clash when China released a white paper on its democratic model with details and examples showing how the entire democratic process works with the full participation of the Chinese people; and another report detailing the abuse and malaise of democracy in the United States, days before the convening of the United States-initiated Democracy Summit.

Xia also said in his speech that for quite a long time, Hong Kong blindly followed Western-style democracy, which creates a divided Hong Kong society and infighting, which leads to social unrest, economic imbalance and crises. uncontrolled.

Responding to criticism from Western countries regarding the upcoming elections in Hong Kong, Xia said that some people in the international community, regardless of the facts, are wantonly defaming and slandering Hong Kong’s electoral system, which only exposed their ignorance, arrogance and prejudice, Xia said, noting that these people are not the “best students” in the democracy class and are not qualified to be “teachers”.

The Wall Street Journal published a letter written by Constitutional and Continental Affairs Secretary Erick Tsang Kwok-wai. The letter says the Hong Kong government reserves the right to take necessary action because an earlier Wall Street Journal editorial contains baseless assumptions and urges Hong Kong voters not to vote or reject an invalid one.

Experts also pointed out that developing Hong Kong’s democratic practice is also an important part of the country’s exploration of democracy. Xia’s speech demonstrated our confidence in our democratic model. Hong Kong’s new electoral system is also suited to the development of Hong Kong, which should not be viewed by foreigners and foreign forces with prejudices and de arrogance, “said an anonymous Hong Kong business expert.

In an exclusive interview with the Global Times on Friday, Lam said that LegCo’s election will be the one with the greatest scope in the three important elections – that of the Election Committee, that of LegCo and that of the election of the Chief Executive Officer. from the government of the Hong Kong SAR.

“More than 4 million registered voters will elect 90 members of the LegCo, and thanks to electoral reform, it becomes much more representative with a more balanced participation, because we can see that the background, the age and the profession of the candidates are various. I expect the LegCo Elections will achieve the goal set by electoral reform – electing those who are patriots to rule the city, safeguarding the Basic Law and the government of the Hong Kong SAR “, she declared.

These are not “all-in-ones” elections, as the 153 candidates have different political backgrounds. Some are from the pro-establishment camp and some are not, and some may be from the pan-democratic camp, according to Lam.

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