The status of Hong Kong: “One country, two systems”

World Today

The protest movement is pressing for a range of government reforms.

Hong Kong currently enjoys a special status within China.

CGTN’s Gerald Tan takes a closer look at what it all entails.

Officially, Hong Kong is designated as a Special Administrative Region of China, a distinction shared with Macao.

In 1997, China regained Hong Kong after more than 150 years of British control.

Beijing introduced a novel policy: “One country, two systems.” Conceived by the late statesman Deng Xiaoping, it was designed to integrate Hong Kong with China, while preserving its political and economic systems.

By then, Hong Kong had gained the status of an “Asian Tiger” — rapidly developed, rich, a financial powerhouse with its own currency.

Under “one country, two systems” – Hong Kong’s Basic Law would grant its citizens a “high degree of autonomy” during a 50-year transitional period from 1997 to 2047. We are now 22 years into that transition.

And it’s a different economic picture altogether. Over the last three decades, growth on the mainland has consistently eclipsed Hong Kong’s. Last year, China’s growth rate was 6.6%; Hong Kong’s 3-percent.

Hong Kong’s Chief Executive is Carrie Lam. Voted in by a 1200 member electoral college, she enjoys the support of Beijing.

China’s President Xi Jinping has reiterated the government is committed to the “one country, two systems” policy. We’ll find out how all this unfolds in 28 years.