CE: 'One country, two systems' can continue beyond 2047

HONG KONG (China Daily/ANN) - Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said she believed the “one country, two systems” principle will continue beyond 2047, as long as the special administrative region can uphold and fully implement the principle.

Lam, in her first appearance in the city's Legislative Council this year, said as long as the SAR strives to comprehensively implement the “one country, two systems” principle for the benefit of Hong Kong people, there will be sufficient reasons to believe that the institutional arrangement will go far, without the need for change.

Carrie Lam called on people to cherish the principle, stressing that the SAR should safeguard the foundation of “one country” and respect the differences of “two systems”

She called on people to cherish the principle, stressing that the SAR should safeguard the foundation of “one country” and respect the differences of “two systems”.

Lam made the remarks in response to comments of legislator Ann Chiang Lai-wan, who said that many young people who took to streets in the last seven months worried that the “one country, two systems” will be replaced by “one system” after 2047. 

Article 5 of the Basic Law stipulates that the capitalist system and way of life in Hong Kong shall remain unchanged for 50 years from 1997.

Lam said that many young people in Hong Kong were born after the return of sovereignty to China in 1997. The “one country, two systems” principle has ensured that these young people could be educated and find employment in a stable and prosperous city, Lam said.

Lam urged the city's youngsters, which have been at the forefront of the often-violent protests stemming from the extradition bill incident, to not violate the principle because of "temporary misunderstandings."

"The scenario they worry about today may be triggered by their own hand," Lam said.

Lam also rejected allegations of police brutality in handling protests.

"I do not accept allegations that police violence has occurred during the handling of seven months of social unrest," she told legislators. "Unfortunately, in the past few months, we have seen continuous smearing and demonizing of the Hong Kong police force, with the intention to weaken the law enforcement ability of the police force."

Independent review committee could be set up in Feb

Lam also said an independent review committee to look into the months-long social unrest is expected to be set up in February.

She said the preparation is almost complete, adding that she is open to recommendations on who could sit on the committee. 

The government had earlier pledged to set up such a committee to investigate the cause of the prolonged social turmoil, identify the deep-rooted social problems and recommend measures to address the problems.

Lam said she and the government had tackled challenges with the greatest resolve over the past few months, adding that the government would not slack off in its efforts to curb violence and boost the local economy.

The CE also promised to make the greatest efforts to implement her Policy Address delivered in October last year so that Hong Kong can move on.

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