The model is “a system so good that there is no reason to change it.” Xi, who is in Hong Kong to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to China, “must be preserved in the long run,” adding that everything China has done “is in Hong Kong’s interest.”
The principle of “one country, two systems” was negotiated between London and Beijing when the former British colony was handed over to China in 1997. It envisages a 50-year period (and with the 25th anniversary of the transfer, Hong Kong being halfway through that period) in which it should During which Hong Kong enjoys a certain amount of autonomy and freedoms.
However, critics say a controversial security law introduced by Beijing in 2020 after large demonstrations has limited those promised freedoms.
Read also. President Xi defends China’s human rights balance before UN commissioner: ‘No country is perfect’
Time for ‘real democracy’
On Friday, Xi also stressed that “real democracy” began with the return of Hong Kong. “After the reunification with the motherland, the people of Hong Kong became the head of their city.”
The Chinese president is visiting Hong Kong for a two-day visit to celebrate the celebrations. This is Xi’s first trip outside mainland China since the start of the coronavirus outbreak and his first visit to Hong Kong since the pro-democracy movement in 2019. The visit is accompanied by very strict security measures, as well as to rule out the possibility of coronavirus infection.