Legislative Council poll marks dawn of a new era of good governance

Sunday’s election of the seventh Legislative Council, the first LegCo election under the new electoral system, marks the dawn of a new era for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region — one of good governance. In the days to come, I believe the new LegCo will perform accurately its roles under the executive-led political system, and cooperate with the executive branch to make sure Hong Kong will benefit from and contribute to the success of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) and the Belt and Road Initiative.

The new electoral system, improved to exclude most if not all subversives from the legislature, will return 90 members through the geographical, functional and Election Committee constituencies. The Candidate Eligibility Review Committee has ensured that all candidates are patriots who love the country and Hong Kong.

In the past few weeks, biased Western media and politicians have been busy vilifying the upcoming LegCo election, promoting a boycott or casting of blank ballots, with the purpose of sabotaging it and thus embarrassing Beijing and the HKSAR government. 

Their criticism of and machinations against Hong Kong’s revamped election system, as well as the National Security Law for Hong Kong, can also be explained by the fact that the two measures have effectively deprived the proxies of foreign forces of any chance to promote their anti-China agendas in Hong Kong by paralyzing the HKSAR government through politicizing everything.

Contrary to the critics’ claim that the new LegCo lacks legitimacy because the patriotism requirement for all candidates will result in a “single voice” in the legislative chamber, the diverse mix of the 153 candidates heralds a legislature of broad representativeness.

This LegCo election marks a major milestone in Hong Kong’s path to long-term stability and prosperity under the “one country, two systems” framework

It was never the intention of Beijing to have a monolithic local legislature installed in Hong Kong. Xia Baolong, director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, once again emphasized at an online conference on Dec 6 that “patriots administering Hong Kong” shall comprise people of diversity, which was to be reflected in different ideologies, political views, religious beliefs, and interests of the officeholders. The central authorities’ purpose of improving Hong Kong’s electoral system is to extend to the greatest extent the radius of tolerance and diversity that conforms to the fundamental interests of Hong Kong people, “one country, two systems” and the HKSAR’s long-term prosperity and stability while expelling those subversives who only have their own political agendas in mind, Xia noted.

Xia’s elaboration is evident by the fact that the 153 candidates running in the LegCo election represent a broad spectrum of the community. In addition to the hopefuls representing traditional patriotic groups, there are also moderate members from the “pan-democratic” camp joining the race. They may not see eye-to-eye with each other on some political issues, but the love for the country and Hong Kong is their common belief. On livelihood matters, they tend to agree more than disagree. Unlike in elections in the past, members of the public do not see slogan-chanting at election forums this time, but high-quality policy debates. This is precisely one of the many good things coming out from the new electoral system.

Another feature of this election is the participation of many new faces with professional backgrounds. In the past, these social elites might have chosen to focus on their own professional development or only participate in advisory and statutory bodies because of the hostile political environment. The improved electoral system has given them a new and wider platform to show their dedication to the society. This situation is obvious in the newly created Election Committee Constituency. Among the 51 candidates vying for the Election Committee Constituency, there are many new faces in political circles. At the same time, there are also many aspiring middle-aged professionals among them. At a time when Hong Kong is turning from chaos to order and prosperity, their participation in LegCo is indeed a blessing to the city.

This LegCo election marks a major milestone in Hong Kong’s path to long-term stability and prosperity under the “one country, two systems” framework. No matter what political views, stances and perspectives you may hold, going to the ballot station to cast a vote is not only a civic duty but also an important first step to start solving the city’s many deep-rooted social problems for the well-being of every resident. Please vote!

The author is co-founder of the Hong Kong Coalition and a council member of the Chinese Young Enterpreneurs’ Association.

The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.