Full Text: The Practice of the "One Country, Two Systems" Policy in the HKSAR

Updated: 2014-06-10 15:55


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-The HKSAR has maintained steady economic growth. From 1997 to 2013, Hong Kong's Gross Regional Product (GRP) grew by 3.4 percent annually in real terms, and its per-capita GRP increased by a total of 39.3 percent calculated in US dollar. According to the 2013 statistics of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Hong Kong's GRP and per-capita GRP, respectively, ranked the 35th and 7th in the world, as calculated by purchasing power parity.

Hong Kong has maintained and enhanced its status as an international financial, trade and shipping center. As an important international banking center, Hong Kong boasts the world's sixth-largest securities market and fifth-largest foreign exchange market. Hong Kong ranks high in various lists of international financial centers. As the world's ninth-largest trading economy, Hong Kong has regular trading ties with almost every country and region in the world. Hong Kong is one of the world's largest container shipping ports and fourth-largest ship-registration center. The Hong Kong International Airport is one of the world's busiest. Its air freight volume has led the world for many years, and its passenger transport volume ranks fifth.

Hong Kong's robust industries have been strengthened even further. Trade and logistics, tourism, finance, and professional services and support services for industry and commerce continue to play an important role as Hong Kong's four pillar industries. In 2012, these four sectors employed 47.2 percent of Hong Kong's total working population, and their added value accounted for 58 percent of Hong Kong's total GRP. Hong Kong also focuses on the cultivation and development of the cultural and creative, innovation and technology, testing and certification, and environmental protection industries.

Hong Kong has maintained a sound business environment, and is generally recognized as one of the world's freest economies. For many years, it has ranked high in the World Bank's evaluation of business environments of 185 economies. In its World Investment Report 2013, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) ranked Hong Kong the third in the world in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI). For many years, Hong Kong has been listed among the world's most competitive economies by the World Competitiveness Yearbook compiled by the International Institute for Management Development based in Lausanne, Switzerland.

-Social programs have been further enhanced. Hong Kong leads the Asia-Pacific region in education, as the HKSAR government continues to increase its investment in education, the biggest government expenditure item. During the 2014-2015 fiscal year, the HKSAR government's current budgetary spending on education reached HK$75.37 billion. Since the 2008-2009 school year, Hong Kong has implemented 12-year free education in public schools. The University of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology are among Asia's top-ten universities, according to the Times Higher Education Asian University Rankings 2013. The University of Hong Kong was the 43rd according to the World University Rankings 2013-2014. Hong Kong continues to rank high in the global test of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2012, which reflects the quality of primary education.

Hong Kong continues to provide quality medical and health care services. During the 2014-2015 fiscal year, the HKSAR government's budget for expenditure on medical and health care is HK$52.4 billion, accounting for 17 percent of the government's recurrent expenditure. All Hong Kong residents enjoy equal access to affordable public medical services. By the end of 2012, Hong Kong had more than 35,500 beds in various medical institutions. The infant mortality rate dropped from 4 per thousand in 1997 to 1.6 per thousand in 2013, which is among the world's lowest. In 2013, the life expectancy of Hong Kong's male and female residents was 80.9 years and 86.6 years, respectively, which are among the world's highest.

Cultural and sports activities are flourishing in Hong Kong, where the Chinese and foreign cultures intermingle. The HKSAR government encourages the diverse development of Hong Kong's culture and promotes cultural exchanges. Four unique Hong Kong cultural events were added to the third batch of the State-level Non-material Cultural Heritage List, namely, Yu Lan Ghost Festival, Tai Hang fire dragon dance, Tai O dragon boat parade, and Cheung Chau Jiao Festival. Hong Kong hosted the equestrian events of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, and the fifth East Asian Games in 2009. Hong Kong athletes have excelled themselves in events such as windsurfing, table tennis, cycling and martial arts during the Olympics, World Championships and Asian Championships.

Hong Kong's social security service has been continuously improved. During the fiscal year 2014-2015 the HKSAR government's budget for social welfare reached HK$61.9 billion, 3.03 times as compared with the HK$20.4 billion during the fiscal year 1997-1998. Hong Kong has put in place a multilayer and diversified social security and welfare service system. Hong Kong has more than 400 social service agencies, and the number of registered social workers has increased from 8,300 at the end of 1998 to more than 18,000 today. The HKSAR government actively promotes the construction of public housing, moves low-wage residents into public housing, and provides financial aid to those who purchase housing units. Around half of Hong Kong's residents live in housing provided or funded by the government. Among them, more than 2 million live in rented public housing, and over 1 million have purchased housing units with government financial aid.