Citizens display China’s national flag in support of implementing the principle of “patriots administering Hong Kong” in Hong Kong. XINHUA
On the morning of March 12, Chan Ping-yuk, 66, signed her name carefully in an autograph book at a promotional booth set up on Nathan Road in Hong Kong.
One day before, the decision to improve the electoral system of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) was passed at the fourth session of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC).
Chan was one of many Hong Kong residents who joined a campaign launched on March 12 in Hong Kong in support of the decision. By the afternoon of March 14, the signature campaign had collected more than 500,000 signatures.
“I was born and [grew up] here. The (decision of the) nation is for Hong Kong’s good. Why shouldn’t I support (it)?” the retired woman told Xinhua.
The decision unveiled a series of measures that will reform how the region’s chief executive and local lawmakers are elected to ensure Hong Kong is run by patriots.
According to the decision, the Election Committee of the HKSAR will be reformed in its size, composition and formation method, and will be given more power. A new committee will also be set up to review the qualifications of election candidates.
Premier Li Keqiang said at a news conference on March 11 that the adoption of the decision had the clear purpose of ensuring the steady development of “one country, two systems”.
It came months after the Law on Safeguarding National Security in the HKSAR was enacted in June 2020, which has helped Hong Kong make the transition from chaos to stability. The passed decision is a further step toward safeguarding Hong Kong’s long-term stability and prosperity, noted China Daily.
“The decision will help form a new democratic electoral system suited to Hong Kong’s realities and with Hong Kong characteristics,” said Qi Pengfei, a researcher on Hong Kong at the Renmin University of China.
According to a survey by the think tank Bauhinia Institute, more than 70 percent of Hong Kong residents support the NPC decision and believe that the move will create better conditions for the HKSAR government to focus on developing the economy and improving people’s livelihood.
Shi Zhu, chairman of the China Culture Foundation, said that he hopes Hong Kong will complete the related legal work so that Hong Kong’s politics can return to a healthy track, which will provide a guarantee for resolving the deep-seated problems in housing, economic structure and youth development, among others.
Chim Shing, vice-president of the Hong Kong United Youth Association, also counted on the improved electoral system to be an inspiration to patriots who would carry out patriotic education in Hong Kong, including reforming local textbooks and curriculum design.