A tourist poses for photos in front of lantern decorations marking the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the motherland in Central of Hong Kong, south China, June 27, 2017. (Xinhua/Wang Xi)
BEIJING, June 28 (Xinhua) -- "One country, two systems" in Hong Kong has proven successful over the past 20 years and needs to be continued in the interest of the region's 7 million people.
The Basic Law of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) specifies the guidelines of "one country, two systems" and "Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong" with a high degree of autonomy.
The previous economic and social systems of Hong Kong and the way of life have remained unchanged, and most laws continue to apply. The HKSAR exercises administrative, legislative and independent judicial power, including that of final adjudication.
Since Hong Kong returned to the motherland in 1997, the principle has been the best institutional arrangement for prosperity and stability, said an editorial of the People's Daily to be published Thursday.
The editorial cited figures that the gross regional product of Hong Kong has risen from about 1.4 trillion HK dollars in 1997 to 2.5 trillion HK dollars last year, an average annual growth rate of 3.2 percent,outpacing most major developed economies.
Over the past 20 years, Hong Kong has confronted many challenges including the Asian financial crisis in 1997 and global financial crisis in 2008.
Moreover, the kindred link between Hong Kong and the mainland has become even closer and they have formed a community of shared destiny that cannot be prised apart.
Today, Hong Kong is the largest source of overseas investment for the mainland, the largest recipient of the mainland's overseas investment and its largest overseas financing platform.
With the development of China's 13th Five-Year Plan and the Belt and Road Initiative, the SAR role as a "super-connector" between the rest of China and the world is becoming more apparent. Hong Kong and the mainland have entered a new era for cooperation, according to the editorial.
By using its advantages to meet the country's needs, Hong Kong will continue to play a vital role in the country's development, and the motherland will continue to give solid support to the region's development, it said.
Compared with the years before 1997, Hong Kong has greater political stability, the government is more efficient, rule of law reigns and corruption is under control.
Against a backdrop of changes in the global landscape and international order, Hong Kong, with the support of the central government, has successfully weathered difficulties and continues to prosper.
It is also true that Hong Kong needs to adjust itself, and such adjustments must be achieved with the fundamental principle of "one country, two systems" upheld, read the editorial.
It is the common wish of all of Hong Kong's people that progress which benefits incomes, prosperity, stability, national sovereignty and national security and development will be made in the region's political system, it said.
There is no established blueprint for "one country, two systems," and new situations and problems are inevitable going forward.
Hong Kong has witnessed a string of regrettable incidents in recent years, including the Mong Kok riot in 2016, and "Occupy Central," a movement to block the city's central business district in 2014.
The lawful settlement of these incidents demonstrates the resilience and vitality of "one country, two systems," according to the editorial.
We should bear in mind that use of legal tools is the right way to solve problems, with the help of an innovative spirit, it said.
With an enormous market, abundant opportunities and strong growth driven by economic restructuring and upgrades, the motherland welcomes Hong Kong aboard the high-speed train of development and will continue to offer solid backing for its prosperity, it said.
With progress in "one country, two systems", Hong Kong will continue its long-term prosperity and stability, making its own contribution to the Chinese dream, it added.