OPINIONS Administration by patriots key to Hong Kong's democracy


Administration by patriots key to Hong Kong's democracy


16:38, March 13, 2021

Aerial photo taken on March 6, 2021 shows citizens displaying China's national flag and the flag of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in support of implementing the principle of "patriots administering Hong Kong" at Tamar Park in Hong Kong. (Photo: Xinhua)

China's top legislature has approved a decision to improve Hong Kong's electoral system, in line with ardent public calls for Hong Kong to be administered by those who love the city and the country.

Those claiming the move would harm Hong Kong's democracy is turning the facts upside down. Their attempt to leave the special administrative region in the hands of haters and traitors is doomed to failure, for no one truly caring about Hong Kong will allow it to remain haunted by the fallout of colonial rule.

During Britain's rule of Hong Kong, there was no democracy to speak of. Hong Kongers were "second-class citizens" for 156 years and had no right to elect the colony's governor. That was the job of the British monarchy.

As for the legislative council, the people of Hong Kong also had no say in what laws should be passed. That was dictated by the governor, and the dignity and wishes of the Hong Kong people were simply ignored.

Things started to change when Hong Kong returned to the motherland in 1997 with the implementation of the "one country, two systems" policy, which allows the region to retain its system under the prerequisite of "one country." For the first time in history, Hong Kongers had the right to vote for their representatives and chief executive.

Unfortunately, while the "two systems" portion of the policy has been in full effect over the past 24 years, the "one country" part has not been adequately acknowledged and practiced. And the consequences are dire.

For example, some textbooks in Hong Kong's primary schools still contain content that derides China; certain Hong Kong lawmakers became so brazen as to insult their own country while taking the oath of office; and some public office-holders chose to betray their duty and incite mobsters to attack police, destroy small businesses and degrade the national emblem. Some radicals have even been agitating for a total separation of Hong Kong from China.

All such appalling rhetoric and behavior have amply demonstrated just how urgent it is to apply the principle of "patriots administering Hong Kong." Without patriotism, democracy would only bring destruction.

Moreover, it is nothing but a basic international norm and practice -- indeed a matter of common sense -- that no public officials are allowed to betray their country or advocate secession.

Given that, all the cacophony against the principle of "patriots administering Hong Kong" is just smokescreen baloney. What truly deserves a closer look is the agenda behind it.

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