"One Country, Two Systems", "Hong Kong's people governing Hong Kong" and a high degree of autonomy in the authority over Hong Kong are familiar to all people. The "One Country, Two Systems" principle and the high degree of autonomy alone, can not subsist without the people of Hong Kong.
Since Hong Kong's return to China, have Hong Kong people been governing Hong Kong, and how are Hong Kongers managing Hong Kong?
Before July 30, 1997, Hong Kong was under British authority, and Hong Kong's governor was appointed by the United Kingdom. The region has long been controlled by British officials. Although the number of Chinese civil servants and senior officials had gradually risen, decision-making rights were in the hands of the British. Chinese officials only followed orders. That is to say, Hong Kong was fully ruled by the British people before 1997, and policies made by British authorities were in line with the interests of the British government.
Before the handover of Hong Kong to China, the Chinese central government prepared for the people of Hong Kong to govern Hong Kong" The most important part was the formulation and implementation of the Basic Law of the HKSAR which declares and guarantees that the people of Hong Kong govern Hong Kong.
Hong Kong's first Chief Executive was elected in accordance with the Basic Law and appointed by the central government. Senior officials of the SAR government, the president of the Legislative Council, and the chief justice of the Court of Final Appeals, must be Chinese citizens. Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy is given by the central government. High-level officials must be appointed by the central government and shall be accountable to the Central People's Government and the HKSAR, a prerequisite for the people of Hong Kong to manage Hong Kong.
Under the "One Country, Two Systems" principle, the people of Hong Kong are those who settle and have residency in Hong Kong; and most of them are Chinese nationals. There are several thousand foreign nationals who are working and living in Hong Kong, who are residents.
However, an article published recently in a Hong Kong newspaper holds that Hong Kong is not being managed by the people of Hong Kong, but by foreigners. The reason for this is that Hong Kong is an important financial hub with well-established laws, major financial institutions and legal sectors run by foreigners. Therefore, the author argued that Hong Kong is not truly governed by Hong Kong people. In my opinion, the conclusion is baseless. Hong Kong has long been a finance hub, not only a finance sector, for many industries are managed by foreign professionals who are not only highly qualified, but also very experienced.
Professionals, especially high-level specialists working for government departments, are recruited from all over the world by the Hong Kong government in an open and public way. In accordance with Hong Kong's immigration ordinance, both people from the Chinese mainland and foreign countries can become Hong Kong residents as long as they have legally resided in the region for a long period of time. The rights of foreigners who work and live in Hong Kong are protected by the law because they are part of Hong Kong's population.
Hong Kong residents of Chinese nationality constitute the majority of Hong Kong's government, the Legislative Council, and judicial system. Hong Kong residents of foreign nationality work in financial and legal sectors, and do not affect the principle of "Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong," which has long been a characteristic of the international metropolis.
Hong Kong is not only being governed by Hong Kong people, but Hong Kong people are also doing very well. Although Hong Kong experienced the Asian financial crisis and SARs, these difficulties helped Hong Kong strengthen its status as the center of international finance, trade and shipping. Hong Kong people are capable of managing Hong Kong and they are doing it pretty well. The past decade and the coming years will continue to prove this.
By People's Daily Online; the author is a commentator of Hong Kong Phoenix TV