The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), which celebrates its 25th anniversary on July 1, is set to write a new chapter in its success story with the strong support of the central government and the hard work of more than 7 million Hong Kong residents.
In the past 25 years since Hong Kong returned to the motherland, development in the SAR has come along in leaps and bounds under “one country, two systems.”
Facts and figures speak volumes.
In 2021, Hong Kong’s economy grew to 2.86 trillion Hong Kong dollars (about 364 billion U.S. dollars), up from 1.37 trillion Hong Kong dollars in 1997. During the period, its total foreign trade in goods more than tripled to 10.27 trillion Hong Kong dollars.
Hong Kong has emerged stronger as an international financial, shipping, and trade center. It has been consistently rated by global institutions as one of the freest and the most competitive economies with a world-class business environment.
An opinion letter published in the South China Morning Post said Hong Kong remains resilient, fearless and proof of what a progressive, cosmopolitan financial center can be.
Some foreign media outlets have also noted that Hong Kong has retained its status as a financial hub, and some of the top finance executives here are banking on a bright future.
People’s well-being has also improved steadily. Hong Kong residents have one of the highest life expectancies in the world. Average life expectancy in Hong Kong in 2021 stood at 83.0 years for males and 87.7 years for females, compared to 76.8 years and 82.2 years, respectively, in 1997.
These achievements won’t be made without the hard work of Hong Kong people who have shown their love of the motherland and Hong Kong, their perseverance, the pursuit of excellence, and adaptability.
An increasingly prosperous motherland is a source of strength for Hong Kong to overcome difficulties and challenges; it also presents a reservoir of opportunities for Hong Kong to break new ground in development.
“One country, two systems” has proved to be the best solution to the historical question of Hong Kong and the best institutional arrangement to ensure Hong Kong’s long-term prosperity and stability after its return.
“‘One country’ is like the roots of a tree. For a tree to grow tall and luxuriant, its roots must run deep and strong,” President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, said on the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to the motherland five years ago.
Xi has always stressed the need to fully and faithfully implement the principle of “one country, two systems,” stay committed to the basis of “one country” and well leverage the benefits of “two systems.”
“Hong Kong’s development has always pulled at my heartstrings,” Xi said.
Over the past decade, significant policies were rolled out to bolster Hong Kong’s economy, improve people’s livelihood, and ensure the maximum number of local people benefit from Hong Kong’s development.
The Hong Kong SAR can share the benefits of the mainland’s vast market and progress opportunities while also gaining a head start in future growth as China is bringing its comprehensive opening-up to a new level.
The role of the mainland as a staunch supporter of Hong Kong has been given full play to, and Hong Kong’s competitiveness has been enhanced.
Development needs institutional and legal guarantee. The enforcement of the national security law in Hong Kong has brought stability back to society.
With the successful elections of the Election Committee, the Legislative Council, and the new chief executive, as well as the formation of the sixth-term Hong Kong SAR government, Hong Kong’s new electoral system has been fully implemented, and the principle of “patriots administering Hong Kong” has been consolidated.
The facts consistently demonstrate that “one country, two systems” is a workable solution welcomed by the Hong Kong people. China’s reform and opening-up has provided the SAR with a massive platform, and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and other national initiatives are bringing about new opportunities.
According to a 2021 survey, the vast majority of Hong Kong residents acknowledged that the development of the Greater Bay Area would inject new development momentum into Hong Kong.
Today’s Hong Kong is advancing from order toward further prosperity. The practice of “one country, two systems” is a success story, and people have every reason to believe the success will continue.