HONG KONG, June 24 (Xinhua) -- Twenty-five years after its return to the motherland, Hong Kong, as a special administrative region of China, remains one of the world's most dynamic cities.
Horse racing, ballroom dancing and stock trading, the three "remarkable capitalist characteristics," are as popular as ever.
Over the past 25 years, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) has been running under the principle of "one country, two systems," which has proved a resounding success.
With a new chapter unfolding, Hong Kong sees vast opportunities.
RETAINING COMPETITIVE EDGE
Hong Kong has conquered multiple crises with the support of the central authorities since 1997, and has remained a center of international finance, shipping and trade.
Under the "one country, two systems" principle, Hong Kong has kept a steady financial system, free-flowing capital, abundant human resources, a fine legal environment, and a unique gateway connecting the mainland and the world.
It has been winning the title of the world's freest economy awarded by the Fraser Institute since 1997.
The implementation of the national security law in Hong Kong starting in June 2020 further consolidates the city's role as an international financial center.
Paul Chan, financial secretary of the HKSAR government, said in May that since the implementation of the national security law, funds raised by newly listed stocks in Hong Kong have increased by more than 30 percent compared with the same period prior to the implementation.
The rule of law has been the cornerstone of the HKSAR's success. According to the Worldwide Governance Indicators by the World Bank, Hong Kong's rule of law percentile ranking has kept above 90 points since 2003, compared to only 69.85 points before Hong Kong's return to the motherland.
STARTING NEW CHAPTER
Danish businessman Peter Stein started a medical device company in Hong Kong in 1994. Over the years, Hong Kong's ease of doing business has helped his company grow, and he is seeing fresh opportunities for the future.
"When I meet young people in Europe, I told them that Hong Kong is actually in the Greater Bay Area, a superior area with more than 80 million people and infrastructure better than any place in the world. For young people, the bay area is the place to go and is the place with the best opportunities in the world," he said.
Zheng Xiangling, chairwoman of the Hong Kong Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (Provincial) Members Association, said the Greater Bay Area is not the only opportunity for Hong Kong to thrive in the coming years.
Seeing the Belt and Road Initiative helps with Hong Kong's long-term social and economic goals, Zheng co-founded the Belt and Road General Chamber of Commerce in 2018.
"The Belt and Road Initiative is conducive to accelerating Hong Kong's development into a hub of the global value chain, and boosting the economic transition of Hong Kong," she said.
A new journey requires an updated model of governance. Richard Wong, provost and deputy vice-chancellor of the University of Hong Kong, said that the governance mechanism in Hong Kong should evolve with the times, and the development model for Hong Kong should become more equal, sustainable and efficient.
John Lee, the incoming sixth-term chief executive of the HKSAR, has said that he and his team will take responsibilities, solve problems and have a mindset for reforms.
It is imperative for the HKSAR government, all sectors of the community and Hong Kong residents to unite and undertake genuine reforms, "starting a new chapter for Hong Kong together," he said. ■