The unanimous vote by China’s top legislature to strengthen governance laws of Hong Kong should be seen within the bigger context of advancing the interest, stability and prosperity of the special administrative region. As part of China, it is only natural to expect that the SAR is governed in manner that is consistent with aspirations, laws and values of China.
Hong Kong has in the recent past been a theatre of chaos and protests that directly stood on the wellbeing and sustainability of the SAR. Given the City’s unique history, it is not uncommon to have voices which may not be responsive to the national call on a number of issues. However, the overall responsibility for the safety, stability and prosperity of Hong Kong clearly rests with Central government and City’s government.
As is expected in any country around the world, those trusted with leadership positions must be patriotic to their respective countries. To have it otherwise is to precipitate anarchy; something that all well-meaning citizens of Hong Kong should eschew at all costs. Political leadership is the cornerstone of a country’s wellness and progress; and therefore should only be vested in those who hold the strategic interests of a country at heart. This is a universally appreciated fact. In the United States for instance, the Constitution makes no provision for secession.
The only rational and sustainable path to Hong Kong’s future is strict observance of one country-two systems in which the SAR residents must acknowledge that it is an inalienable part of China. This will make it possible for the two levels of government to seamlessly and productively work together for the benefit of Hong Kong.
Like other autonomous regions and SARs, the people of Hong Kong will be better off if they work towards limiting frictions with both levels of government while amplifying those very tenets that have enabled the City to achieve the levels of prosperity it enjoys today. Many cities of China have since caught up with and even surpassed Hong Kong because of the stability and facilitative role of the central and local governments.
The strengthening of governance frameworks for the SAR should not be a basis of external confrontation, aggression or smear campaign. Diplomatic friction between countries is antithetical to cooperative aspirations widely acknowledged within the United Nations and other multilateral frameworks.
Many countries have routinely and rightly expressed displeasure whenever they feel attempts to interfere in their domestic affairs. It is therefore not surprising to see China moving in to defend erosion of sovereignty by external agents.
Instead of increased hostility and jealousy towards China, dissenting countries should capitalize on China’s potential and jointly work together and help humanity confront the most pressing challenges. Fervently opposing another country is a non-strategic foreign policy anchor and risks denying and the rest of the world desirable results of strategic cooperation in various fields.
The writer is an international relations scholar with a focus on China-Africa relations. Twitter: @Cavinceworld.