Speech by Luo Huining At the Spring Festival“Virtual Reception”held by the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
Let’s Join Hands to Work for a Better Hong Kong -- Our Home
A Chinese New Year speech delivered by Luo Huining, director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), at a virtual reception to ring in the 2021 Chinese New Year.
(Feb. 5, 2021)
Hello, friends and Hong Kong residents,
The Year of the Rat is about to pass and the Year of the Ox is just around the corner. This is the first time that the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR has hosted a virtual reception to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Although the way we are hosting has changed, our greetings remain the same. On behalf of my colleagues, I would like to extend early Chinese New Year greetings to all of you in front of your screen and to all Hong Kong residents.
2020 altered our lives beyond comprehension. It is a year we will never forget.
The world had seen many changes throughout the year. It witnessed the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, a severe economic recession and new shifts in international power dynamics, with the rise of the East and the decline of the West. Humanity had experienced a year of risks and challenges.
Last year saw changes in our country, which battled the pandemic and withstood the test of time. In the fight against coronavirus, the Communist Party of China demonstrated its strength as the mainstay, China showed its advantages in governance system, and the people have united like never before. The 1.4 billion Chinese people are proud of the country’s growing vitality, strength and potential.
2020 also saw changes in Hong Kong. The central authorities made a series of important decisions on national security legislation in the HKSAR. Thenceforth, the once-rampant street violence has ceased, Hong Kong residents have regained their safety and freedom, and Hong Kong has marked a turnaround from chaos to law and order.
As President Xi Jinping has said that the world is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century, but time and momentum are on our side. This is where we show our conviction and resilience, as well as our determination and confidence.
Friends and Hong Kong residents,
It has been over a year since I took office in Hong Kong. The more I get to know Hong Kong, the more my passion for Hong Kong grows. When my relatives and friends ask for my impression of Hong Kong, I can summarize it in one sentence, “I am becoming more confident in our home Hong Kong.” Looking back over the past year, I have a lot to say. But to save time, I would like to only share with you my “four unforgettable moments.”
The first moment was on July 1 last year after the Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the HKSAR took effect. More than 100 fishing boats paraded at the Victoria Harbor and many people held banners that read, “National security, Hong Kong’s tranquility, and residents’ peace of mind.”
The second moment was in August 2020, when virus-testing specialists from the mainland arrived in Hong Kong to help contain the worsening COVID-19 outbreak. Large crowds of Hong Kong residents took to the streets to welcome the team with flowers, with many saying, “They have braved the risks to come to help Hong Kong, and we are grateful for the central authorities.”
The third moment was the National Day and the Mid-Autumn Festival, on Oct. 1 last year, when I visited the elderly and communities living in subdivided flats in Siu Sai Wan in Hong Kong Island and Sham Shui Po in Kowloon. I felt acutely aware that we should waste no time reviving the economy and relieving people’s hardships.
The fourth moment was the final day of 2020, when Hong Kong’s TVB collaborated with Bilibili, the most popular online platform for the younger generation in the mainland, to stage a New Year’s Eve gala. Over 1,000 drones formed the words “I love Hong Kong. I love China” over the Victoria Harbor. The episode was overwhelmed by bullet-screen comments from viewers from both the mainland and Hong Kong, united in saying; “Hong Kong will have a better future.”
To me, these four moments epitomize the spiritual and material pursuit of Hong Kong residents.
I know many people may wonder: what is next for Hong Kong? What other changes will be for Hong Kong?
I would say that “changes” should be viewed from an objective, dialectical and developmental perspective. Hong Kong’s “changes” over the past year were to set things right. As long as we bring the twisted and distorted back in form, “one country, two systems” will definitely progress steadily down the right path.
Looking ahead, I have four expectations for the future of our home, Hong Kong.
First, the principle of “one country, two systems” will not change. The bottom line of “one country” will be further consolidated and “two systems” will show more vitality.
We must uphold the principle of “patriots governing Hong Kong”, firmly abide by the one-China principle, act in strict accordance with the country's Constitution and the Basic Law of the HKSAR, maintain constitutional order, and implement central government's overall jurisdiction over Hong Kong so that our home Hong Kong can achieve prosperity and lasting peace and stability.
Second, people’s rights and interests guaranteed by the Constitution and the Basic Law of the HKSAR will not change. Hong Kong will have stronger capability to ensure social stability and safeguard national security more effectively.
We must firmly implement the national security law in the HKSAR, uphold democracy and freedom under the rule of law, avoid falling into the trap of “pan-politicalization”, and resist the tendency to deviate from good governance, so that our home Hong Kong can enjoy order and harmony.
Third, the Hong Kong residents’ way of life will not change. Bigger steps will be taken to develop Hong Kong’s economy and improve the livelihood of the Hong Kong residents.
More precise and effective measures will be rolled out to address crucial livelihood problems step by step, such as employment, incomes, land, housing and health care, and solve the entrenched issues that concern the Hong Kong residents, so that everyone's hard work and efforts can be rewarded, and people can have a stronger sense of gain, happiness and security at our home Hong Kong.
Fourth, Hong Kong’s advantage of being a free market and its openness to the world will not change. It will see enhanced prospect to join in the country’s development and greater confidence to take part in international competitions.
Hong Kong should take the major opportunities of the Belt and Road Initiative and the Guangdong-Hong-Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, participate in the domestic circle of China's internal market, and promote the dual circulation of domestic and international markets to strengthen Hong Kong’s economic competitiveness so that our home Hong Kong will withstand storms and turbulence.
Friends and Hong Kong residents,
President Xi was especially concerned about the COVID-19 situation in Hong Kong as well as the health, work and life of all Hong Kong residents, when he heard the work report delivered by Chief Executive Carrie Lam on Jan. 27 via video link.
“The central government has taken and will continue to take all necessary measures to fully support the HKSAR in the fight against COVID-19. We must reinforce confidence and stay united in the anti-epidemic fight. The motherland is always Hong Kong’s strong backing. Difficulties at hand can surely be overcome,” he stressed.
At this special moment and under the special situation, President Xi’s concern is warm and encouraging.
The year 2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC). In the course of hard struggle and great transformation led by the CPC in the past century, what has remained unchanged and become even stronger is the original aspiration of “putting people first”, working for the happiness of the Chinese people and realizing national rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
Our faith is stronger than ever that under the leadership of the CPC, the historical trend of China’s sound and steady development and the great national rejuvenation can never be stopped. Hong Kong is China’s Hong Kong, and Hong Kong will surely prosper when the country thrives. This is the logic of history.
Friends and Hong Kong residents,
Although uncertainties remain in the world, storms loom along the way, and Hong Kong still faces major challenges in epidemic prevention and control, economic recovery and relieving people’s hardships, I fully believe that with the care and support of President Xi and the central authorities, the strong backing of the motherland, and the joint efforts of the HKSAR government and various sectors of the society, the dark clouds can be dispelled eventually and our home Hong Kong will become better.
I hope all of us will live a normal, mask-free life as soon as possible. Let’s roll up our sleeves and work hard together.
I wish you all an auspicious and prosperous Year of the Ox!