To Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China
To Zhang Xiaoming, Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in Hong Kong,
Since Hong Kong’s reversion to the motherland, the Hong Kong Government policies have increasingly fallen short of applying the principle of “one country two systems” and the policy objectives of the Basic Law. This has created a perception that the Hong Kong Government has not been listening to the voice of Hong Kong people, creating deep-seated conflicts across various spectrums in our society. The current political climate in Hong Kong is having a negative impact to Hong Kong’s competitiveness as a major financial centre in Asia. Hong Kong’s existing political system has become the stumbling block to the city’s long-term social, political and economic growth, and is the root cause of social division and disharmony in Hong Kong.
We are a group of professionals who work in the Hong Kong finance and banking sector and we represent this industry group. We are all Hong Kong permanent residents who truly love the country and Hong Kong. We wholeheartedly believe that the central government of China is one that serves and seeks the greatest well-being for the people of Hong Kong. We have full confidence in the future of Hong Kong and hope that the city will remain firmly in its position as an international financial centre. We hope the leaders of the Chinese Communist Party will heed the following 10 requests which reflect the voice of Hong Kong people, specifically that of the finance and banking industry.
- Fulfill its promises made in the Sino-British Joint Declaration by fully supporting one country two systems. Allow Hong Kong people to rule Hong Kong with a high degree of autonomy, and refrain from interfering in the administrative affairs of Hong Kong.
- Establish a system of genuine universal suffrage that conforms to international standards and recognize that this is the political freedom that all the people in Hong Kong seek. To implement the principle of “one country, two systems”, the Central Government must accord the Hong Kong Government with high degree of autonomy and recognize its legitimacy.
- Defend Hong Kong’s freedom of speech, press, assembly, religion, creation, and all kinds of freedom enshrined in the Basic Law and relevant international conventions.
- Allow Hong Kong to continue to operate under a fair, just, and open business environment. Prevent monopoly by persons or organizations of special privilege in various industries.
- Empower the Hong Kong Government to set policies independently, including but not limited to policies relating to immigration, naturalization and travel entry to advance the city’s long-term interests. Maintain and enhance Hong Kong’s position in the international finance community so that it retains its competitive edge in attracting high quality professionals and talents from all over the world and from various industries and sectors.
- Safeguard the spirit of the rule of law and judicial independence.
- Protect and respect the freedom of the press and empower the public and the media with the right to monitor and critically challenge Hong Kong government and its policies.
- Understand Hong Kong’s unique historical background and preserve Hong Kong’s uniqueness as a melting pot of Eastern and Western cultures.
- Safeguard Hong Kong’s reputation for maintaining a strong anti-corruption culture in government and business. Eliminate all perception and possibility of growth of a bribery culture, and take considerable effort to establish anti-corruption policies and campaign in China which can only have a positive impact to Hong Kong’s status in the global economy.
- Create and facilitate universal suffrage for Hong Kong which can be leveraged as a blueprint for democratic elections in China to advance China’s progress toward democracy.
In order to elaborate the 10 requests stated above, we enclose the Appendix which set out in more detail the interpretation of each request. We sincerely urge the leaders of the Central Government to consider these requests which reflect the voice of the Hong Kong people. Our objectives are firmly rooted in the belief that the Hong Kong people should be granted the right of universal suffrage and the Hong Kong Government should have the independence to make laws based on consensus drawn from the people of Hong Kong.
Views expressed from a group of finance and banking professionals who are passionate about the interests of Hong Kong.