China’s Commitment to One Country, Two Systems Unshaken, Xi Says

China’s commitment to the “one country, two systems” policy remains unshaken in the face of challenges and is in the interests of prosperity, stability and international investors, President Xi Jinping said.

The basic state policy is an integral part of the China dream of national renaissance, Xi said today at a ceremony in Macau marking the 15-year anniversary of the city’s return to Chinese sovereignty. The president made repeated references to Hong Kong and spoke of the need to “prevent and resist infiltration and interference of external forces.”

Xi’s speech came five days after Hong Kong police cleared the last barricades on Dec. 15, ending pro-democracy protests that blocked the city’s roads for more than 11 weeks. Protesters demanded that China rescind its August decision to have candidates for the first chief executive election in 2017 vetted by a 1,200-member committee of the city’s elite.

Hong Kong protesters and their supporters including U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Russel have questioned Beijing’s commitment to the “one country, two systems” principle, referring to the constitutional formula devised by the late leader Deng Xiaoping that allows Chinese territories such as Hong Kong and Macau to retain their capitalist economic systems and domestic autonomy. Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and pro-Beijing media have accused foreign forces of fanning the protests.

‘Confidence and Commitment’

“The adherence of the ’one country, two systems’ policy is a shared mission of the central, special administrative zone governments as well as the Chinese people, including citizens of Hong Kong and Macau,” Xi said. “Our confidence in and commitment to ’one country, two systems’ remain absolutely unshaken no matter what difficulties and challenges we encounter.”

Xi said safeguarding national sovereignty, security and the government’s interests in development are among the guiding principles behind the policy. It involves respect for both the one country principle and the differences of the two systems, he said.

Macau, a former Portuguese colony, should improve youth education, focusing on Chinese history and national affairs, Xi said. The younger generations should have a better understanding that Macau’s future is tied to China’s and they should develop a stronger national pride, he said.

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