25 years reunification of Hong Kong with China
Editor's note: The writer is the founder of Friends of BRI Forum. The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily the views of Gwadar Pro.
Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Hong Kong on 30 June for a commemorative anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China by the British Empire held on 1 July. This ceremony coincided with the change of government in Hong Kong, when John Lee is replacing Carie Lam.
In every five years, Hong Kong elects its new Chief Executive, who traditionally commences a new tenure on July 1st. Earlier, President Xi congratulated the city residents who resisted the political and health pandemic. President Xi appreciated Hong kong people’s resilience, especially in the face of the pandemic and political challenges. The Leisure and Cultural Services Department has organized a celebration ceremony titled “Grand Variety Show in Celebration of the 25th Anniversary of Hong Kong’s Return to the Motherland” for the people.
The legal relationship between Hong Kong and China is governed by a legal instrument Basic Law where Articles 1 and 2 determine the legal and political rights of Hong Kong. Article 1 of the Basic Law defines Hong Kong as a Special Administrative Region (SAR) and considers it an inalienable part of China. The Basic Law differentiates between the political systems of Chinese mainland and SAR Hong Kong, the system known as One Country Two Systems. China has jurisdiction over four directly administered municipalities, 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, and two SARs, including Macau and Hong Kong.
President Xi’s arrival in Hong Kong is significant in several ways. The foremost is the Chinese patronage of Hong Kong as its SAR. It’s a tradition that the Chinese President visits Hong Kong to witness the inaugural ceremony of the new government every five years. Secondly, it marks the end of virtual administrative ceremonies and meetings, reflecting China is coming out more robust against the pandemic. Thirdly, earlier, Hong Kong faced political turmoil, and President Xi’s presence at the ceremony demonstrates how important Hong Kong is to China.
Hong Kong is an essential and integral part of China with its substantial contribution to China's economic and global strength. What is worth mentioning is Hong Kong’s contribution towards China's reform and opening-up process. As a result of its open system and investor-friendly governance system with ease of doing business, the region is host to multinational corporations.
Due to China’s opening up and reformed growth, Hong Kong, like other regions, has seized the moment and revolutionized its entire system to introduce new business methods through technology and capital. Hong Kong has attracted global leading firms to invest and partner with the Chinese industry. Its unique geographical location makes it a natural connecting point between the mainland and financial markets.
Through an open market economy and emphasis on multilateral trading mechanisms and reforms, there was a booster in Hong Kong's institutional reforms that led to its in-depth economic contribution towards its globalization and overall Chinese growth.
Over 25 years, Hong Kong has transformed from a trade junction to a building capital and technological revolution hub. The region has become a base for not only Chinese leading enterprises but also attracted global financial and industrial multinational companies.
Another significant contribution of Hong Kong to China’s international outreach, primarily through reforms and opening up, is that It has a new and innovative governance and financial models. The region was a pilot place and acted as a bridge between the two forms of opening up.
Hong Kong played an essential role in offering a platform for BRI-related competitive financial transactions through Chinese companies and other ways to make RMB an internationalized currency. This reflects that Hong Kong is cooperating with the mainland and assisting in global development, prosperity, and a shared future.
Through this assistance, Hong Kong supported the mainland’s economic and structural reforms. While on the other hand, Hong Kong has benefited from China’s global development and progress by expanding its financial-related scope and benchmarks. By offering such financial services, Hong Kong is growing to become the second-largest economic center in the world.
Similarly, the mainland has always supported and stood by the people of Hong Kong, especially while reviewing the past 25 years; there is a sense of strength and togetherness for shared prosperity and future through an integrated approach. The mainland is supportive and permanently adheres to the policy of noninterference that has led to winning the hearts and minds of the people of Hong Kong.