Residents walk to a polling station in Sha Tin to vote in the 2021 Legislative Council General Election on Dec 19, 2021. (EDMOND TANG / CHINA DAILY)
Ahead of Hong Kong's Legislative Council election on Sunday, anti-China elements had been doing their best to vilify the special administrative region's new election system and sabotage the election by dissuading voters from going to the polling stations and casting a ballot.
They employed various ploys, including releasing unfavorable results from manipulated surveys, circulating disinformation through social media and hyping up threats of a terrorist attack, all of which were intended to produce a low voter turnout rate for the first election for the local legislature under the region's new electoral system.
Being more representative of Hong Kong society and without the hindrances of anti-China troublemakers, the SAR's legislature will be able to better serve the interests of Hong Kong residents
This, they hoped, would enable them to claim the election was not a fair reflection of Hong Kong people's will and play into the hands of the anti-China Western politicians and media outlets, who have been peddling the notion that a low voter turnout rate would deny the new legislature's legitimacy.
Malicious and cunning as the plan may have seemed, such calculations are overly simplistic and naïve. Voter turnout in an election can depend on many factors, as the HKSAR's chief executive, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, said when casting her ballot at a polling station on Sunday morning.
The legitimacy of the election and its results need no endorsement from Western politicians, which comes from the election mechanisms' conformance with the constitutional order governing the special administrative region, which is clearly prescribed in the Basic Law and relevant decisions of the National People's Congress and its Standing Committees.
"One country, two systems" allows Hong Kong to practice its own processes of legislative election. But it has never repudiated the central authorities' power and constitutional responsibility to exercise full sovereignty over the region, which inarguably includes taking steps to safeguard national security and other national interests in Hong Kong.
The adoption of the candidate vetting mechanism to ensure that "patriots administering Hong Kong" is inherently nonnegotiable in the new electoral system. It embodies the central authorities' overall jurisdiction over the SAR. That requirement has become the bête noire of the China bashers — both in Hong Kong and overseas — ever since the electoral system was amended to guarantee it. It only serves to show how essential it was to close the loopholes in the electoral system that allowed subversives to worm their way into LegCo.
However hard the China bashers in the West and their proxies in Hong Kong try to smear the new electoral system and the election, they will not be able to hide the effectiveness of the changes, which will permit the legislative body to function as it should.
Being more representative of Hong Kong society and without the hindrances of anti-China troublemakers, the SAR's legislature will be able to better serve the interests of Hong Kong residents.