President Xi’s New Year speech offers HK guidance on better governance

In a televised address on New Year’s evening, President Xi Jinping delivered a positive and inspiring message to everyone in China and around the world, to lay down the foundation for the year of 2022 and beyond. 

While Hong Kong was explicitly mentioned in only one paragraph reiterating the central authorities’ determination to maintain “the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong and Macao” which is “always close to the heart of the motherland”, the full speech offers Hong Kong guidance on how to achieve better governance in the special administrative region.

His speech reviewed in a holistic way the country’s extraordinary major achievements in the past year against the challenging global environment and ongoing pandemic disruption. He also declared a clearly defined tone for 2022 and stressed the importance of a strategic focus for the country. 

Looking forward to the next year, his words helped unfold a development road map and illuminate the strategic targets that will steer China to new heights, while remaining true to the original aspirations. “We must always keep a long-term perspective, remain mindful of potential risks, and maintain strategic focus and determination.” This is exactly the strategy for Hong Kong’s future development.

Situated in a unique geographical location, Hong Kong should come up with its own action plan to contribute to China’s global reputation through international exchanges and collaboration

“We must attain the broad and great while addressing the delicate and minute,” said Xi, implying the governance philosophy that may be adopted by the next administration of Hong Kong. 

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The city should have a greater breadth and depth of sustainable perspectives and a long-term planning for the next year and the next 25 years ahead, he said, and we should pay attention to details and act thoroughly to address current social issues. 

“The myriad of things we attend to all boil down to matters concerning every household,” said Xi, making it crystal clear that a government or a governing party must attach great importance to solving livelihood issues. Like Xi, Hong Kong’s leaders should always care about the ordinary concerns of people and strive for the aspirations of the residents.

In his speech, Xi spoke about the realization of a moderately prosperous society in all aspects and the elimination of extreme poverty. 

This is a comprehensive victory in the battle against poverty, which has been an arduous task by governments at all levels and the entire society as another Chinese miracle after China made an outstanding performance in reform and economic advances. 

It is a fascinating and longstanding contribution to the world’s poverty reduction and global sustainable development. If our country has such a resolution to have accomplished great work on poverty alleviation, Hong Kong should work harder to eliminate poverty in our city. 

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That’s why it should be the HKSAR government’s top policy agenda to have an overarching strategy and concrete actions to minimize the poverty gap through affordable housing and healthcare.

“If we do not fail nature, nature will never fail us,” has been echoing globally with the collective urgency in our world to address climate change and deal with environmental degradation. China’s voice has been loud and clear with ambitious yet admirable “dual carbon goals” to reach a carbon peak before 2030 and realize carbon neutrality by 2060. 

Under the renewed national energy policy and the national 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25), it is encouraging to achieve those goals in order to not fail our nature and shared planet. In this regard, Hong Kong has kick-started its own carbon neutrality strategy to fulfill our own responsibility and fully support this national strategy. Even though Xi declared it for the country, he also raised this ambition for Hong Kong.

Through Xi’s address, we can resonate with the country’s firm resolution in promoting global peace and prosperity. “Only through unity, solidarity and cooperation can countries around the world write a new chapter in building a community with a shared future for mankind,” said Xi. 

It is an accentuation of the full speech that has demonstrated China’s global responsibility, broader horizons and respectable standing. From its anti-coronavirus pandemic contribution to the organization of the Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, China established an excellent example of global cooperation and mutual assistance. 

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Situated in a unique geographical location, Hong Kong should come up with its own action plan to contribute to China’s global reputation through international exchanges and collaboration.

Xi remarked “only with unity and concerted efforts can we ensure sound implementation of ‘one country, two systems’ in the long run,” stressing the importance of stability. Now with the enactment of the National Security Law for Hong Kong to restore order and the improvement of the electoral system for “patriots administering Hong Kong”, our city’s stability can be ensured, paving the way for continued prosperity. Without doubt, Xi’s words bestowed on us unyielding confidence in the continuity of the “one country, two systems” for Hong Kong.

Xi’s address also encouraged us to bond with the motherland for peace and prosperity, reaching on the path toward the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, for realizing the Chinese dream which all Chinese people in Hong Kong should be proud of. I am inspired by his words which have provided Hong Kong with guidance on the way forward. It is Hong Kong’s rare opportunity to leverage the country’s rapid development and our city’s special occasion in 2022. At the end of day, we (Hong Kong) are part of the community with a shared future of humankind, raised by President Xi as China’s answer to global challenges and globalization.


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.