Xi defends vision of Hong Kong as 25-year anniversary marked
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday defended his vision of the "one country, two systems" framework against accusations by the U.S., U.K. and others that Beijing has undermined the freedoms and autonomy promised to Hong Kong for 50 years.
In a speech marking 25 years since the city became a semi-autonomous Chinese region following its handover from Britain in 1997, Xi said the "one country, two systems" framework, which allows Hong Kong to have its own laws and government, had achieved "universally recognized success."
"There is no reason for such a good system to change, and it must be maintained for a long time," he said, in what appeared to be an attempt to reassure residents that Hong Kong could retain their relative freedoms even after 50 years.
But Xi also emphasized that Beijing had "comprehensive jurisdiction" over Hong Kong, and that Hong Kong should respect Chinese leadership, even as Beijing allows regions like Hong Kong and Macao to maintain their capitalist system and a degree of autonomy.
He warned that there would be no tolerance for foreign interference or traitors to meddle in Hong Kong's affairs, and that "safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development interests" is of the highest priority.
"Nobody in any country or region in the world will allow foreign countries or even traitorous forces and figures to seize power," he said, adding that only by having patriots governing Hong Kong, can Hong Kong ensure long-term stability.
Xi last visited Hong Kong in 2017 for the July 1 celebrations, during which he warned that there would be no tolerance for any activities seen as threatening China's sovereignty and stability.
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