Xi Jinping’s ‘Patriots Ruling Hong Kong’ Replaces Deng Xiaoping’s Hong Kong Policy

March 16, 2021 Updated: March 16, 2021

Commentary

A former head of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Deng Xiaoping’s principle of “Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong” is rapidly being replaced by current head of the CCP Xi Jinping’s principle, “patriots ruling Hong Kong.”

Of course, patriots, in this case, refers to people who hold allegiance to the CCP.

On March 4, the fourth session of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) was held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Wang Yang, chairman of CPPCC, delivered a work report at the meeting. He said that, on the issue of Hong Kong and Taiwan, Beijing “firmly supports the full implementation of the principle of ‘patriots ruling Hong Kong.’”

People who are concerned about Hong Kong must have noticed that Wang Yang only emphasized “patriots ruling Hong Kong” and that there is no mention, in his work report, of the “one country, two systems” principle.

“Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong,” and “a high degree of autonomy,” were principles of governing Hong Kong formulated by Deng Xiaoping before Hong Kong was handed back to CCP rule in 1997.

Xia Baolong, director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the CCP said in his speech, “On January 27, when listening to the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Carrie Lam’s [Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor] report of her duties in 2020, Chairman Xi Jinping stressed that the significant turnaround from chaos to governance in Hong Kong has once again demonstrated a profound truth, and that is, to ensure that the practice of ‘one country, two systems’ is stable and far-reaching, we must always adhere to the principle of ‘patriots ruling Hong Kong.’”

As a Voice of America report analyzed, the CCP’s approach to Hong Kong has gradually changed since Xi took power, especially since the anti-extradition bill protests in Hong Kong. First, it emphasized the importance of “one country” over “two systems” in the expression “one country, two systems.” Later it omitted “a high degree of autonomy.” Now, “Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong” has been replaced by “patriots ruling Hong Kong.”

After these three steps, Deng’s promise of leaving Hong Kong’s policy unchanged for 50 years has been changed. Hong Kong is now in reality governed by Beijing during Xi’s reign.

The policy of “Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong” allowed Hong Kong citizens to take a place in Hong Kong’s legislative and executive decision-making processes. However, the policy, “patriots ruling Hong Kong” excludes Hong Kong citizens from these processes altogether.

In this way, with a change in phrasing, Hong Kong’s legislature and administration will be completely monopolized by the CCP’s agents, and the result will be the complete death of “one country, two systems.”

Looking back on history, the CCP’s commitment to this Hong Kong issue is still ringing in the ears. The CCP has failed to abide by its international commitments in the Sino-British Joint Declaration.

In January 1990, Deng Xiaoping met with a wealthy Hong Kong businessman Li Ka-shing, and when talking about Hong Kong’s “one country, two systems,” Deng said, “[What] won’t change, can’t possibly change. It’s not meant that there is no change for the short term. It won’t change in the long term. That is to say, it won’t change for the coming 50 years. There won’t be any reason for changes after 50 years.”

It has been only 24 years since Hong Kong was handed over to CCP rule, not yet even half of the term of the 50-year Joint Declaration. The CCP’s policy of governing Hong Kong has already changed from “Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong” to “patriots ruling Hong Kong,” proving once again that the CCP is purely a rogue party that does not keep its word and has no integrity!

Author: Yuan Bin is a freelance writer and independent scholar on contemporary China issues.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.