HK and Macao residents should more actively propel reform
In the 70 years since its founding, the People's Republic of China has made remarkable achievements thanks to the leadership of the Communist Party of China and the hard work of its people. The Hong and Macao special administrative regions, too, have helped in the country's economic development.
The "one country, two systems" has also prompted Hong Kong and Macao residents to share the responsibility of helping realize the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation and share the country's prosperity with their compatriots on the Chinese mainland.
In this sense, reviewing the practice of "one country, two systems" is conducive to promoting the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong and Macao and strengthening the "one country, two systems" principle.
The "one country, two systems" principle is China's political invention, and its aim is to peacefully resolve the national reunification issue. It is based on the constitutional and modern political spirit, not on the power relations between the central and local governments.
After the return of Hong Kong and Macao to China, the central leadership changed the governance of the special administrative regions. More important, the interaction between the central government and the two SARs became an effective legal relationship. This not only allowed Hong Kong and Macao to play a bigger role in the country's economic development, but also ensured the long-term prosperity and stability of the two SARs.
Since their reunification with the motherland, Hong Kong and Macao have made great achievements in the economic, cultural and political fields with the support of the central government. Which shows that "one country, two systems" is best suited to promote the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong and Macao.
As China steps into the new era, the central government has decided to follow the "one country, two systems" principle to strengthen the central government's relations with Hong Kong and Macao, as well as to develop socialism with Chinese characteristics.
Maintaining the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong and Macao is a necessary requirement for realizing the Chinese Dream of the national rejuvenation. Over the past two decades, communication between Hong Kong and Macao and the mainland has deepened. And the two SARs have not only maintained their prosperity and stability but also integrated with the mainland on the basis of the "one country, two systems".
Still, the country's leadership has to take measures to ensure that while enjoying a high level of autonomy, Hong Kong and Macao do not cross the threshold of "one country". The principle of Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong and Macao people ruling Macao is based on the "one country, two systems" principle. But instilling patriotism among the local people remains a long-term task, especially in Hong Kong.
It is therefore necessary to accord "political and legal citizenship" to Hong Kong and Macao residents according to the Constitution. This can be done by deepening communication and cooperation between the mainland and the two SARs, which in turn will instill a greater sense of patriotism among Hong Kong and Macao residents.
As socialism with Chinese characteristics steps into the new era, Hong Kong and Macao will further integrate with the motherland under the principle of "one country, two systems". And the construction of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area will further promote the "one country, two systems", which will prompt the two SARs to use their advantages to propel reform and opening-up.
Realizing the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation is the common dream of all Chinese people including Hong Kong and Macao residents. As such, Hong Kong and Macao residents should play a greater role in the country's development.
The author is a researcher at Center for the Basic Law of Hong Kong and Macao Special Administration Regions, Shenzhen University. The views don't necessarily represent those of China Daily.