Asia - Pacific

Hong Kong's new leader sworn in as Xi doubles down on need for 'patriots'

Chinese president says 'One Country, Two Systems' here to stay, no reason to change such a good model

Hong Kong's new leader sworn in as Xi doubles down on need for 'patriots'


John Lee was sworn in as Hong Kong’s new leader on Friday, marking a new beginning as the former British colony celebrated 25 years of its return to Chinese rule.

Chinese President Xi Jinping made his first trip outside mainland China since the COVID-19 pandemic began to oversee the ceremony.

In his inaugural speech, Lee said the next five years will be key for Hong Kong and vowed to “resolve issues facing society in a practical manner,” local broadcaster RTHK News reported.

“Even if we only solve one problem a day, without taking such small steps it is simply impossible to get to faraway places. Through perseverance we shall succeed,” he said.

Lee, 64, a former security chief who oversaw a crackdown on protests in Hong Kong in 2019, was elected as the next chief executive in May.

He was the lone contender to succeed Carrie Lam.

“I will strive to comprehensively and accurately implement the principles of One Country, Two Systems … to safeguard constitutional order … our country’s sovereignty, national security and development interests, and to ensure the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong,” said Lee.

President Xi spoke about the need for “patriots” to rule Hong Kong as it embarks on “a new stage in the transition from chaos to order.”

​​​​​​​“To keep the power to administer Hong Kong firmly in the hands of patriots is essential for safeguarding the long-term governance and security of Hong Kong. At no time should this principle be allowed to be compromised,” he said.

Xi reiterated that “One Country, Two Systems” remains the best model for Hong Kong, emphasizing that it must be implemented “fully and faithfully without being bent or distorted.”

“Today, I wish to highlight once more that the policy of One Country, Two Systems, having been tested and proved time and again, meets the fundamental interests of the country and the Chinese nation and those of Hong Kong and Macau,” he said.

He said the system is supported by more than 1.4 billion people in China and “widely recognized” by the international community.

“There is no reason to change such a good system, and it must be adhered to over the long run,” he asserted.

*Writing by Islamuddin Sajid

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