As the 14th anniversary of the promulgation of the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region approaches, the Xinhua News Agency was authorized Thursday to republish late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping's remarks on the concept of "one country, two systems."
During separate talks with members of a Hong Kong industrial and commercial delegation and with prominent Hong Kong figures 20 years ago, Deng expounded the "one country, two systems" concept, the requirements or qualifications of Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong and the definition of a patriot.
Deng said the Chinese government is firm in its position, principles and policies on Hong Kong.
"We have stated on many occasions that after China resumes the exercise of its sovereignty over Hong Kong in 1997, Hong Kong's current social and economic systems will remain unchanged, its legal system will remain basically unchanged, its way of life and its status as a free port and an international trade and financial center will remain unchanged and it can continue to maintain or establish economic relations with other countries and regions," Deng said.
"We are pursuing a policy of 'one country, two systems.' More specifically, this means that within the People's Republic of China, the mainland with its one billion people will maintain the socialist system, while Hong Kong and Taiwan continue under the capitalist system," he said.
"Our policy towards Hong Kong will remain the same for a long time to come, but this will not affect socialism on the mainland. The main part of China must continue under socialism, but a capitalist system will be allowed to exist in certain areas, such as Hong Kong and Taiwan. Opening a number of cities on the mainland will let in some foreign capital, which will serve as a supplement to the socialist economy and help promote the growth of the socialist productive forces," he said.
Deng said the concept of "one country, two systems" has been formulated according to China's realities.
China has not only the Hong Kong problem to tackle but also the Taiwan problem. What is the solution to these problems? As for the second, is it for socialism to swallow up Taiwan, or for the "Three People's Principles" preached by Taiwan to swallow up the mainland?
"The answer is neither," Deng said.
"If the problem cannot be solved by peaceful means, then it must be solved by force. Neither side would benefit from that. Reunification of the motherland is the aspiration of the whole nation. If it cannot be accomplished in 100 years, it will be in 1,000 years. As I see it, the only solution lies in practicing two systems in one country."
Deng said the successful settlement of the Hong Kong question may provide useful elements for the solution of international questions.
"When we adopt the policy of 'one country, two systems' to resolve the Hong Kong question, we are not acting on impulse or playing tricks but are proceeding from reality and taking into full account the past and present circumstances of Hong Kong," he said.
"We are convinced that the people of Hong Kong are capable of running the affairs of Hong Kong well, and we want to see an end to foreign rule. The people of Hong Kong themselves will agree to nothing less," said Deng.
Some requirements or qualifications should be established with regard to the administration of Hong Kong affairs by the people of Hong Kong, Deng said. It must be required that patriots form the main body of administrators, that is, of the future government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Of course it should include other Chinese, too, as well as foreigners invited to serve as advisers.
Deng said a patriot is one who respects the Chinese nation, sincerely supports the motherland's resumption of sovereignty over Hong Kong and wishes not to impair Hong Kong's prosperity and stability. Those who meet these requirements are patriots, whether they believe in capitalism or feudalism or even slavery.
"We don't demand that they be in favor of China's socialist system; we only ask them to love the motherland and Hong Kong," Deng said.
(Xinhua News Agency February 19, 2004)