Beijing plans ‘full governance’ of Hong Kong, Macao in next 5 years

Published (HKT): 2020.11.04 06:45

Beijing on Tuesday suggested implementing “comprehensive governance” over Hong Kong and Macao in order to prevent foreign forces from interfering in the highly autonomous cities.

The proposal was part of China’s recently announced 14th national plan for 2021 to 2025, which was the first five-year plan of social and economic development discussed by the Central Committee of the Communist Party after Chinese President Xi Jinping abolished his term limits in 2018. Xi was the leader of the proposal drafting group.

In the part involving Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, Xi said that he would continue to adhere to the rule of law in Hong Kong and Macao, implement the central government’s overall governance over both cities and maintain a legal system that would safeguard national sovereignty and security.

“There will be many unstable and uncertain factors in the external environment in the upcoming period, as many risks and hidden dangers may impact the domestic economic development,” Xi said in the proposal.

He pledged that Beijing would “resolutely prevent and contain” external interference in Hong Kong and Macao affairs and be “highly vigilant and resolutely curb” separatist activities in Taiwan.

The idea of the central government’s comprehensive governance first surfaced in 2014, emphasizing Beijing’s full control over all local administrative regions including Hong Kong. Beijing also rejected the idea that the high degree of autonomy enjoyed by Hong Kong meant complete autonomy.

China’s latest five-year plan sets out the paradigm for local authorities to follow between 2021 and 2025, and includes long-range objectives targeting the year 2035.

Xi said that in spite of the profound impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the country’s gross domestic product was estimated to exceed 100 trillion yuan (US$15 trillion) this year, lifting the rural poor out of poverty.

According to German market and consumer database Statista, about 5.51 million people in rural areas of China were living in poverty in 2019.

“After research and calculations done by the proposal drafting team, we are hopeful the economy has the potential to maintain long-term stable development from the perspective of economic development capabilities and conditions,” Xi said.

“It is entirely possible that by the end of the 14th five-year plan period, we would reach the prevailing standards of a high-income nation and, by 2035, double total economic output or per capita income.”

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