'One country, two systems' policy serves interests of US, China

As the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to China nears, a veteran US diplomat has said that Beijing's unique "one country, two systems" policy, which is in the interest of China and the US, has paid off greatly in the former British colony.

In a speech delivered at a recent event in Washington, Kurt Tong, US consul general to Hong Kong and Macau, expressed his strong confidence in the future of Hong Kong, citing the city's status as a global financial hub that connects China with the world economy. Tong described Hong Kong as an "open city" that plays an exemplary role for other Asia cities and shows a high degree of freedom.

When talking about a US State Department assessment report on the key current developments in Hong Kong published on June 7, Tong said that the "one country, two systems" policy, which is based on the Basic Law, is implemented well in Hong Kong, where citizens have a basic right to freedom of speech. He also said that Beijing has generally fulfilled its commitment in the Basic Law to allow Hong Kong to exercise a high degree of autonomy.

Hong Kong boasts a great many famous enterprises whose businesses are done in accordance with the city's laws, Tong said, adding that the high degree of autonomy and the Chinese mainland's endorsement would help the city reduce financial risks and create more job opportunities for younger generation.

However, the US diplomat said that Beijing would become less tolerant toward the forces seeking what they called "democracy" in Hong Kong with tougher policies which might bring uncertainties and might prevent the city from exercising its high degree of autonomy to enhance competitiveness.

In addition, Tong believes that Hong Kong's stability and prosperity would bring a good opportunity to the American private sector, which sees the Chinese city as an "access" to the mainland market. As a place where various cultures converge, Hong Kong has a big space for cooperation with the US in the areas of finance, investment, high technology development, smart city construction, aviation, tourism, culture and trade, according to Tong.

Tong also mentioned the Belt and Road initiative, saying that Hong Kong's advantage in finance and investment would promote the implementation of the national strategy.

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