"One country, two systems" ensures Hong Kong's prosperity: Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor

Kristen Gonzales
July 2, 2017

Meanwhile, incidents such as the secret detentions of five Hong Kong booksellers on the mainland have stirred fears that Beijing is undermining the "one country, two systems" blueprint. China has promised Hong Kong's capitalist system will remain unchanged for "at least" 50 years, but it has not clarified what happens after that.

Eduction sector lawmaker Ip Kin-yuen was concerned by Xi's call to step up patriotic education, worrying it would only convey the positive sides of China to pupils.

He oversaw the swearing in of Ms Lam, the newly-elected chief executive of the territory, along with the rest of her cabinet.

In his speech at the inaugural ceremony of the new government earlier on Saturday, Mr Xi held out an olive branch to moderate pan-democrats, saying Beijing is prepared to talk to Hong Kongers holding different political views so long as they love their country and Hong Kong and support the "one country, two systems" principle and the city's mini-Constitution.

Hong Kong came under British rule following the First Opium War in 1839-1842.

It has a separate political and economic system from China under the principle of "one state, two systems" except in the field of defense and partly foreign affairs.

Mr Xi was speaking in the former British colony on the 20th anniversary of its return to China, before thousands of people gathered for a mass demonstration against Beijing's tightening grip in the city.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has warned against "impermissible" challenges to Beijing's authority over Hong Kong.

Leaders including high-profile campaigner Joshua Wong were detained and bundled into police vans as their supporters shouted "shame".

Lawmaker "Longhair" Leung Kwok-hung, a veteran pro-democracy activist, was also briefly taken into custody. "They want to dilute us and make Hong Kong a city similar to Shanghai or Shenzhen", he says, an argument repeated by many others.

A little over a kilometer (mile) away, a small group of activists linked to the pro-democracy opposition clashed with police and counter-protesters.

AP PHOTOS: UK symbols fade, China's rise in new Hong Kong
Massive mly parade for Xi

Their criticisms are shared by organizations such as Amnesty International, which in its latest report noted that the human rights situation in this territory is peaking since 1997, or by Reporters Without Borders, which has downgraded Hong Kong in its The world press freedom index from the 18th place in 2002 to the 73rd place it now occupies.

Apparently addressing the thousands of protestors who planned to march in the face of stiff police control after his departure, President Xi said: "Any attempt to endanger China's sovereignty and security, challenge the power of the central government or use Hong Kong to carry out infiltration and sabotage activities against the mainland is an act that crosses the red line and is absolutely impermissible".

Many parts of the city were shut down as part of the security operation.

In the latter part of his speech, Xi adopted a softer stance by calling on the public to solve problems through sensible communication instead of political confrontation.

Emily Lau, the former chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Hong Kong, said that the mood in Hong Kong is "very somber".

China's main representative office in Hong Kong, the Liaison Office, didn't respond to a faxed request for comment.

Chris Patten, Hong Kong's last governor, told the Guardian newspaper British "kowtowing" to China would become increasingly craven after Brexit.

"The Sino-British Joint Declaration is not at all binding. We hope the relevant people can be aware of the reality", Lu said.

Lam became the semi-autonomous Chinese region's chief executive Saturday in a ceremony presided over by Chinese President Xi Jinping. "I don't think that the outlook outside the European Union is one in which we are more likely to behave honourably towards Hong Kong than we have inside".

In a speech that ran far shorter than Xi's 32-minute address, Lam reviewed the dynamic financial center's achievements and challenges, pledged to support central government initiatives and declared that "the future is bright".

Article 23 requires the Hong Kong government to "enact laws on its own to prohibit any act of treason, secession, sedition, subversion against the Central People's Government".

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