Hongkongers should know basic law by heart, says Leung

Top News | Phoenix Un Jun 19, 2017
It is necessary for Hongkongers from all walks of life to know the Basic Law comprehensively and accurately, including all of its articles and the intention behind it, so as to uphold the "one country, two systems" principle, says Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying.

He told state media that "one country, two systems" and the Basic Law have not changed over the years. What has changed, he added, are Hong Kong society and its ever developing economy.

"It is necessary for all classes and sectors of Hong Kong not only to learn all articles of the Basic Law, but also the intention behind each article, comprehensively and accurately," Leung said.

And Hong Kong should adapt to a new position, with opportunities arising from the Belt and Road initiative and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Big Bay Area district, and continuously contribute to the country's development, he said.

Leung cited his achievements in four major areas of his policy focuses during his five years in office - housing, poverty, aging population and environmental protection.

"A total of 96,000 private flats will be built in the next three to four years - a 50 percent increase compared with the time when I took office five years ago," he said. "We've unprecedentedly drawn a poverty line to assess the SAR government's work for the poor."

Leung added: "Government expenditure on social welfare has increased by 71 percent compared with five years ago."

But he regretted the failure to set up a cultural bureau, which he blamed on the filibustering of opposition lawmakers.

Leung proposed to the Legislative Council a "restructuring of governing apparatus" before he assumed office in 2012 to set up a cultural bureau and another one for innovation and technology and to add the two new posts of deputy chief secretary and deputy financial secretary.

Although the whole proposal did not prosper, the Innovation and Technology Bureau was created.

Meanwhile, former Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office deputy director Chen Zuoer praised "one country, two systems" as an unprecedented achievement that contributed to Hong Kong's peaceful handover.

He recalled the then-US deputy consul general in Hong Kong and Macau, Stephen Schlaikjer, who cast doubt on the principle shortly before the handover in 1997.

"He said Hong Kong would die," Chen said. "Two years later, I asked him if [he thought] the 'one country, two systems' is [successful] in Hong Kong. [He] answered bashfully: 'Yes, it is."'

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June 2017