LCQ1: Public understanding of the Communist Party of China
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC). There are comments that notwithstanding the fact that CPC, being the ruling party of China, has made tremendous contributions to the development of the Chinese nation, some Hong Kong people are holding prejudice against the ruling party as they have been misled by biased remarks. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) whether it has plans to organise events to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of CPC; and
(2) whether it has new plans to preserve the historical materials and facts related to CPC in Hong Kong?
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC), a series of celebration activities have been held by the country from June 28 to July 1 this year. The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) attaches a lot of importance to the occasion. The Chief Executive led a delegation of more than 70 people to attend the celebration activities in Beijing. Various senior officials of the HKSAR Government, including the Financial Secretary, the Secretary for Justice, two bureau secretaries and the heads of disciplined services departments also joined the delegation.
On June 12, the Chief Executive attended and delivered a speech at the thematic forum on "CPC and 'One Country, Two Systems'" organised by the Central Government's institutions in the HKSAR to mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CPC. She expressed her pride on the country's remarkable achievements on various fronts under the leadership of the CPC, and was immensely grateful to the Central Government for her care of Hong Kong all along and her steadfast commitment to the thorough implementation of the "one country, two systems" principle.
In addition, the HKSAR Government and the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR jointly organised the thematic exhibition on "A Hundred Years of Prosperity and Greatness – Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CPC". The exhibition had been held in the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from July 3 to 9, 2021. On July 1, the HKSAR Government placed front or inner page advertisements on 12 Chinese and English local newspapers to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CPC cum the 24th anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR. Hongkong Post also issued a set of four stamps and a stamp sheetlet on July 1 in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of CPC. The four stamps present the themes of "An Epoch-making Moment", "The Founding of the New China", "Reform and Opening Up", and "Towards Rejuvenation"; while the stamp sheetlet presents the theme of "Heading for a New Era". Furthermore, on July 4 the Chief Executive and various senior officials attended the premier of the film "1921" that celebrates the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CPC, at which the Chief Executive delivered a speech. As regards the preservation of the historical materials relating to CPC in Hong Kong, public libraries under the Leisure and Cultural Services Department have collected and preserved the relevant publications for lending or reading in the libraries by the general public.
In the past century, China suffered from prolonged domestic turmoil and foreign aggression. In spite of the hardships, the CPC endured and grew bigger and stronger. It eventually united all Chinese people to step on the pathway of development that best suited the interests and actual conditions of China. Members of the CPC had grown from under 60 at the early stage of its founding to currently over 90 million, becoming the largest ruling party in the world and creating a great miracle. The centenary of the founding of the CPC is indeed a major milestone of the new China. Under the leadership of the CPC, China has stood up, grown prosperous and become strong. Every Chinese takes pride in the remarkable achievements made by the new China on the economic, social, cultural and technological fronts and in its ever increasing international standing and influence. The achievements accomplished in the past century have significant and far-reaching implications on the Chinese nation and people, as well as the peace and development of the world and mankind.
Pursuant to Article 1 of the Constitution of the People's Republic of China (PRC), the socialist system is the fundamental system of the PRC, and the leadership by the CPC is the defining feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics. In a nutshell, the CPC and the PRC are intertwined. Although the Basic Law provides that the socialist system shall not be practised in the HKSAR, we must recognise the unique and indispensable constitutional role of the CPC in the country's constitutional order. As the HKSAR is a part of China, we have the responsibility to learn about the history of the CPC, its glorious development in the past century and the contribution it made towards China's progress on all fronts when we are studying the Constitution and the Basic Law.
When it comes to the relationship between the CPC and Hong Kong, one thing we must mention is the successful reunification of Hong Kong with the Motherland, which is part and parcel of the great accomplishments of the CPC in the past hundred years. Upholding national unity and territorial integrity, maintaining the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong, and taking account of Hong Kong's history and realities, the country put forward the pioneering concept of "one country, two systems". Under this principle, China shall practise the socialist system while keeping the previous capitalist system and way of life in Hong Kong unchanged with a high degree of autonomy. Over the past two years, Hong Kong has been battered by unprecedented political turmoil which posed a very high risk of endangering national security. Under the leadership of the CPC, the Central Government has stayed determined to tackle the issue of Hong Kong through strict compliance with the Constitution and the Basic Law and adherence to the "one country, two systems" principle. This uphill battle, which fully reflects the Central Government's commitment to keep its original aspiration and its forbearance in the implementation of "one country, two systems", is worthy of our learning and understanding.
Hong Kong has been an inalienable part of the country since ancient times. Relationship between the HKSAR and the country is even more intertwined since the reunification. In future, the HKSAR Government will endeavour to ensure the full, accurate, faithful and effective implementation of the "one country, two systems" principle in Hong Kong. Such efforts will include safeguarding the constitutional order of the HKSAR established by the Constitution and the Basic Law, continuously improving the institutions and mechanisms relating to the implementation of the Constitution and the Basic Law, implementing the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the HKSAR to safeguard national security, improving the electoral system and ensuring patriots administering Hong Kong, taking forward the local legislative amendment exercise to implement the amendments to the PRC Laws on the National Flag and National Emblem, strengthening promotion of the Constitution and the Basic Law and national education with a view to enhancing the general public's awareness of the country and patriotism. The HKSAR Government will also promote the better integration of Hong Kong into national development by deepening the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area development and fully participate in the National 14th Five-Year Plan, so as to accurately position Hong Kong in national development, and create more opportunities for the city.
Thank you, President.
Ends/Wednesday, July 7, 2021
Issued at HKT 14:15
Issued at HKT 14:15