Chinese premier Li Keqiang has reacted stridently to perceived threats from abroad to the integrity of Macao and Hong Kong.
Speaking at the opening of the annual plenary session of the National People’s Congress (NPC) in Beijing, Li ramped up the political rhetoric declaring that the central government will “resolutely guard against and deter external forces interference in the affairs of Hong Kong and Macao”.
Continuing in the same vein, Li added the central government will “stay true to the letter and spirit of the principle of ‘One Country, Two Systems’.
Li pledged that Hong Kong and Macao would continue to enjoy a high degree of autonomy – he said that Beijing will “improve” the systems for enforcing the nation’s constitution and the Basic Laws of the two SARs.
A draft decision on “improving” the electoral system of Hong Kong was submitted to the NPC yesterday for discussion.
Li added that the central government will support the economic growth of Hong Kong and Macao.
Switching to the subject of Taiwan, the premier said Beijing was committed to the one-China principle and the 1992 cross-strait consensus, adding that Beijing would “remain highly vigilant against and resolutely deter any separatist activist seeking ‘Taiwan independence’.