Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The People's Republic of China in The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
The year 2021 witnessed Hong Kong turning for the better from chaos to stability. Under the National Security Law and the new electoral system, China’s security and Hong Kong’s stability are effectively safeguarded, anti-China forces in Hong Kong were held accountable, and the elections of the Election Committee and the Seventh Legislative Council have smoothly concluded.
“Loving the country and Hong Kong” has become the mainstream in Hong Kong with a new look of stability and justice, and “one country, two systems” has opened a new chapter of sound governance in the city.
Over the past year, the Commissioner’s Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hong Kong has resolutely implemented Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy and the CPC Central Committee’s strategies of governing Hong Kong, attached high importance to Hong Kong and Macao-related work and priorities on the whole diplomatic front, and achieved new progress of diplomacy in Hong Kong in the new era.
First, we are a firewall against external intervention in Hong Kong.
In the face of the 2019 turbulence, the most dangerous situation in Hong Kong since its return, the CPC Central Committee took the lead and acted decisively to turn the tide and improve the situation in Hong Kong.
However, external forces represented by the United States are reluctant to accept their failure and continue to play the trick of “disrupting Hong Kong to curb China”.
At the critical moments such as the two important elections in Hong Kong and the first anniversary of the implementation of the National Security Law, the forces spared no effort to denigrate the Central Government’s policy towards Hong Kong, smeared and attacked the National Security Law, interfered into the elections, and talked down Hong Kong’s status as an international financial hub.
Only when one is strong can it deter bullying. Confronted with the serious anti-interference situation over the past year, the Commissioner’s Office has stayed at the forefront of opposing external intervention.
We clarified our position and drew a red line with the consulates of relevant countries in Hong Kong ahead of major sensitive events, and made solemn representations promptly against their wrong words and deeds concerning Hong Kong.
In the past year, the spokesperson for the Commssioner's Office refuted 54 times the misleading words and deeds on Hong Kong of some Western countries, including the United States, exposed their sinister intentions of disrupting Hong Kong and curbing China, uncovered their hegemonic acts of self-superiority, and laid bare their hypocrisy and double standards.
With rock-solid will and unyielding actions, we have warned external forces that China’s internal affairs shall not be interfered with, China’s sovereignty and security shall not be infringed upon, and Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability shall not be undermined. Any attempt to play the “Hong Kong card” to curb China’s development is wishful thinking and will certainly fail. We have formed a strong deterrent to external forces that all forms of meddling in Hong Kong affairs will pay back.
In response to the sanctions against Central Government officials in Hong Kong and the so-called “Hong Kong Business Advisory” issued by the US as well as its talking down of the Hong Kong’s business environment, we quickly published online the “Fact Sheet: U.S. Interference in Hong Kong Affairs and Support for Anti-China, Destabilizing Forces” to expose to the international community the bad record of US interference in Hong Kong affairs.
We have also held various policy promotion activities, such as a briefing on the White Paper “Hong Kong Democratic Progress Under the Framework of One Country, Two Systems”, a symposium on the theme of “Strengthening Confidence in True Democracy”, a briefing for honorary consuls in Hong Kong, and a briefing on the improved Hong Kong’s electoral system to clarify the Central Government’s position on firmly implementing “one country, two systems” and supporting the development of democracy in Hong Kong.
We set the record straight by disclosing the world-splitting nature of the political farce of the so-called “Summit for Democracy” held by the United States to help the international community have a correct understanding of “one country, two systems” and enhance the confidence in Hong Kong’s prospect.
We have won Hong Kong-related diplomatic struggles in the multilateral field and garnered great support from most countries in the international community.
Second, we are a bridge for Hong Kong’s external exchanges and cooperation.
Hong Kong gains benefits from both the “one country” and the “two systems”. With the strong backing of the motherland and as a key hub in the Asia-Pacific and crucial bond of the whole world, Hong Kong enjoys remarkable advantages such as a steady financial market, free flow of capital, sound legal environment and professional services.
Over the past year, with the steady support of the Central Government as well as the 14th Five-Year Plan and the Greater Bay Area, Hong Kong’s economy has recovered robustly and various economic indicators have further increased.
At the same time, the Covid-19 flares-up have had some impacts on Hong Kong’s economic growth and international exchanges. To meet the new situation and new needs of Hong Kong in the new era, the Commissioner’s Office takes as its duty to promote the development of the HKSAR through diplomacy, strengthen ties with the foreign business community, and support the HKSAR in expanding international exchanges. In this way, Hong Kong could give better play to its role as an important intersection and facilitator of the domestic and international circulations of China’s economy, and cement Hong Kong’s role as an international financial center.
We have gathered the strength of the business community to support Hong Kong in participating in the “Belt and Road Initiative” and hosting the Belt and Road Summit, and to help enterprises in Hong Kong and the mainland join hands in the Belt and Road cooperation.
The Commissioner’s Office took the initiative to organize a virtual tour to Greater Bay Area for foreign businesses in Hong Kong amid the pandemic, which received huge support from the HKSAR Government. Chief Executive Carrie Lam personally attended the event.
In close cooperation with the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Development and Reform Commission and the Guangdong Provincial Government, we have jointly created a feast for eyes and mind through the virtual tour, opened a window of opportunity and cooperation for foreign business friends in Hong Kong to invest in the Greater Bay Area. Foreign businesses in Hong Kong have built up their confidence in the Greater Bay Area.
We have supported the expansion of the Hong Kong economic network and assisted the HKSAR Government in setting up an economic and trade office in Dubai last year, so as to facilitate the commercial ties between the HKSAR and the Middle East and elevate Hong Kong’s global reputation.
We have supported Hong Kong in building an International Legal and Dispute Resolution Services Center in the Asia-Pacific region, a regional arbitration center in Hong Kong of the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization (AALCO) and in holding its first annual session of the AALCO. We have also assisted the HKSAR in taking part in international conferences and dealing with multilateral treaties applicability and compliance in Hong Kong.
Third, we are a facilitator for Hong Kong people’s greater sense of belonging.
Over the past year, the Commissioner’s Office has adhered to “open-door diplomacy” and brought diplomatic activities to schools and grass-roots communities to make Hong Kong people further understand and support China’s diplomacy, and strengthen the ties between compatriots in Hong Kong and the mainland.
We have strengthened overall planning and carried out activities to brief Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy for different communities in Hong Kong. For instance, we held special reports for senior civil servants of the HKSAR Government as well as various forms of symposiums, meetings and visiting activities for Hong Kong’s major political groups, universities, think tanks, and youth groups. We hope to, through the events, enhance Hong Kong’s understanding of major country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics and anti-interference awareness.
We put a lot of energy on Hong Kong youth groups, and organized promotion activities of national security knowledge courseware for education groups, primary and secondary school principals and teachers in Hong Kong to assist the HKSAR in improving national security education. We also brought diplomacy into campus through video meetings to enhance Hong Kong society’s understanding of the Central Government’s policy on Hong Kong and the National Security Law.
We have re-launched the “Hong Kong Cup” diplomatic knowledge contest, which has been warmly welcomed by Hong Kong primary and secondary school students. More than 20,000 primary and secondary school students have signed up for the contest 2022.
In deep collaboration with the HKSAR Government, we have made the secondment of five Hong Kong youth talents to international legal organizations happen and held a special ceremony for launching the second group of young HKSAR civil servants to join the program of the United Nations Junior Professional Officer (JPO).
In the future, the Commissioner’s Office will help more ambitious and capable young talents in Hong Kong to realize their ideals on a higher platform built by the country.
Fourth, we are a protective umbrella for the legitimate rights and interests of Hong Kong compatriots overseas.
People first is the fundamental principle of China’s diplomacy. We always keep in mind and protect the legitimate rights and interests of Hong Kong compatriots overseas, so that they can truly feel the warmth of the Central Government and the motherland.
In the past year, in association with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, embassies and consulates abroad and the HKSAR Government, the Commissioner’s Office has assisted the HKSAR in dealing with over 300 Hong Kong-related consular cases.
By optimizing the handling process and improving the certification service facilities, we have provided more high-quality and efficient consular document services for the vast number of applicants, including Hong Kong compatriots. We have done the best to ensure that all Covid-19 countermeasures are strictly implemented to protect the health and safety of the applicants.
The 12308 hotline of the Global Emergency Call Center for Consular Protection and Services of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs provides round-the-clock services for Hong Kong compatriots. Travelling and returning home safe of Hong Kong people is our top one priority.
We will stay committed to our original mission and start a new chapter on the way forward. In his 2022 New Year Address, President Xi Jinping sent a message to compatriots in Hong Kong and Macao that “the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong and Macao is always close to the heart of the motherland. Only with unity and concerted efforts can we ensure sound implementation of One Country, Two Systems in the long run” and that “I sincerely hope that all the sons and daughters of the Chinese nation will join forces to create a brighter future for our nation.”
President Xi’s message is not only a warm encouragement, but also a firm support to the Hong Kong compatriots.
In 2022, we will celebrate a series of major events such as the 20th CPC National Congress and the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to the motherland. The Commissioner’s Office will continue to shoulder its fundamental political responsibility—full and faithful implementation of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy and the Party Central Committee’s strategies of governing Hong Kong, and draw wisdom and strength from the experience of the Party’s 100-year history. We will further guard against external interference, promote the development of the HKSAR, serve the country and Hong Kong people through diplomacy, and contribute to long-term success of “one country, two systems” and lasting stability of Hong Kong to make the “Pearl of the Orient” shine even more brightly!