Beijing hails 'advancement in quality of democracy' in Hong Kong
Updated 12:59, 20-Sep-2021
Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions calls on residents to vote in the 2021 Election Committee's subsector ordinary elections in Wan Chai, Hong Kong, S China, September 19, 2021. /CFP

Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions calls on residents to vote in the 2021 Election Committee's subsector ordinary elections in Wan Chai, Hong Kong, S China, September 19, 2021. /CFP

A Chinese central government spokesperson on Monday hailed the "advancement in the quality of democracy" in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), commenting on the 2021 Election Committee's subsector ordinary elections in the HKSAR. 

Sunday's elections were the first key election held in Hong Kong after the enforcement of the Law on Safeguarding National Security in the HKSAR in 2020 and improvements to the HKSAR's electoral system earlier this year, a spokesperson with the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council said in a statement. 

The election was a vivid example of fully implementing the principle of "patriots administering Hong Kong" and conducive to the city's long-term stability, the improvement of local people's well-being and the steady practice of "One Country, Two Systems" in the long run, the spokesperson said. 

With membership growing from 1,200 to 1,500 and the composition and method for its formation improving, the Election Committee now has broader coverage and representation. It features more balanced participation of different sectors of society, representing an advancement in the quality of democracy in Hong Kong, the spokesperson said. 

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Many of the people selected are from primary-level communities and young people, the spokesperson continued, adding that they represent the overall interests of Hong Kong society and national interests.

The spokesperson said the developments will lay a sound foundation for the successful holding of the upcoming Legislative Council election and the election of the chief executive. 

The new electoral system is proved to be a sound system that suits Hong Kong's reality, boosts the healthy development of democracy in Hong Kong and safeguards national sovereignty, security and development interests, the spokesperson said. 

With the full implementation of the new electoral system, democracy in the HKSAR will move forward on a sound and orderly track, and governance efficacy will be raised consistently. Meanwhile, Hong Kong people's aspirations for a better life will be realized step by step, the spokesperson added.

'Major step in Hong Kong's democratic development'

The Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR said on Monday that the successful holding of the election marked a major step in Hong Kong's democratic development with its own characteristics. 

The candidates put forward their election platforms to reflect the demands of their industries, resolve economic and livelihood problems, promote social progress and Hong Kong's integration into the national development and had in-depth exchanges and interactions with the general public, the office said, adding that they shouldered the responsibility of speaking for voters and making suggestions for Hong Kong. 

The newly elected members of the Election Committee come from all walks of life in Hong Kong and are broadly representative, reflecting the advantage of balanced participation in the new electoral system, the office said.

The new members include HKSAR deputies to the National People's Congress, HKSAR members of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and members of the Legislative Council of the HKSAR. Academics, university presidents, business leaders, professionals and ordinary laborers, such as fishermen, farmers, drivers, tour guides and workers, are also included. 
Representatives of members of area committees, district fire safety committees, district fight crime committees, grassroots associations, small and medium-sized enterprises and associations of Hong Kong residents in the mainland have been included in the Election Committee for the first time, which fully demonstrates that the new electoral system effectively represents the interests of all sectors of Hong Kong society while safeguarding the interests of the country and Hong Kong's overall interests, the office said. 

The office said it hopes Hong Kong will regard the elections as a starting point to gradually get back on track. 

(With input from Xinhua)

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